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signature
HIC EXUL WIDO
Saint Hemma
Gurk Abbey
Hemma of Gurk
Gurk Cathedral
Dom zu Gurk
Kaernten
Gurk
Oesterreich
Carinthia
Austria
inscription
Wido


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Gurk - Dom

Gurk - Dom
In 1043 Hemma of Gurk (canonized in 1938) founded the Benedictine double monastery of Gurk Abbey, where she withdrew during the last years of her life.

After Saint Hemma´s death, the abbey was dissolved by the Archbishop of Salzburg, who instead set up the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt in 1072.

The "Gurk Cathedral" is a large Romanesque basilica, built 1140 - 1220. The crypt got consecrated already in 1174 and since then hosts the grave of Saint Hemma of Gurk, still a place of pilgrimage.

This inscription is on the southern exterior wall of the cathedral, It reads

HIC EXUL WIDO I
P(RAE)SENS CEPIT OPUS NA(VARE??)

What could be translated to

Here exiled (far away from home) Wido I
started the present work.

It is widely believed, that Wido was one of the master builders, so this is a very early signature.

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