Stift Heiligenkreuz Reviews
A Medieval Abbey in the Vienna Woods Oct 01, 2011
Stift Heiligenkreuz - Heiligenkreuz Abbey - is a picturesque Cistercian monastery set in the Vienna Woods. But "picturesque" does not begin to do this splendid monastery justice!
Stift Heiligenkreuz was founded in 1133 by the Margrave of Austria, Leopold III. The request to build the monastery came from Leopold’s son, Otto, who had himself recently become a monk. The monastery has been active since then and the buildings have been added to over the centuries. Today, the campus seems to go on and on with one interesting sight after another! Because construction has been continuous, different parts of the monastery reflect the differing architectural styles of each era.
The oldest part is the 12th century Romanesque nave and west facade of the Church. The Cloister, Fraterie (monk's workroom), and Fountain House (washing room) date from the 13th century. Seventeenth century additions were the present monk's living quarters, Sacristy, and Bell Tower. There have been 20th century additions, too. Gothic and Baroque touches and decoration appear here and there to add a wonderful flavor to the scene.
It is a very active place, too. The monks will often appear and greet visitors. (Heiligenkreuz is the oldest Cistercian monastery in continuous operation.) Music sits open on the Baroque choir stalls and ready for the next service or choir concert. (The choir recorded a hit chant CD.)
I can't begin to describe it all, so please take a look at my photos!
Admission is 7,50 Euro. Photography permitted.
Part of the Central Europe 2011 travel blog
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