The Blessed Hartmann, provost of the Augustinian Canons Regular monastery of Klosterneuburg near Vienna,
was appointed bishop of Brixen in 1140.
At Brixen Hartmann did not follow the example of the archbishop of Salzburg Konrad I of Abensberg (1106-1147)
in that he refrained from reforming the cathedral chapter by introducing the Rule of St. Augustine.
It is assumed he did this because of strong opposition expected on the part of the canons.
Rather than doing this he chose to found the Augustinian Canons Regular monastery of Novacella three kilometers to the north of the bishop’s residence.
In doing so he was actively supported by the Reginbert, the burgrave of Säben, and his wife Christina.
Both endowed this new foundation with extensive land and rights.
In 1157 when Neustift was still under its first provost Heinrich I (1143-1164),
Hartmann granted the monastery to the parish of Natz in whose territory it was situated.
From the moment of this incorporation the parish’s pastoral care was carried out directly by the monastery.
Around the year 1160 Hartmann also handed over the parish of Kiens to the Canons Regular of Neustift.
More than 850 years after its foundation, the Augustinian Canons Regular monastery of Neustift,
its community of Canons and staff, still carry out a wide variety of duties,
all of which could be described as pastoral care in the wider sense.
Today the Neustift Canons Regular still serve more than 20 parishes where their work involves pastoral care duties.
In addition to classic pastoral care work they also continue to carry out their education mandate in various forms.
The Neustift school boarding house opened at the beginning of the 1970s to accommodate almost 100 boys.
At the same time the tourist centre opened, responding to the growing importance of tourism for the monastery and South Tyrol
in general which became evident in the increasing numbers of visitors who continue to come year after
year to become acquainted with Neustift and join in guided tours of the monastery complex.
This also led to the foundation of the present-day Novacella Education and Conference Centre.
The monastery still maintains itself economically through the cultivation and sales of agricultural products such as culinary herbs and fruit.
In addition the wines from the Novacella/Neustift vineyards and monastery winery are
famous throughout the world and have scooped the most coveted national and international awards.