Monasteries in Austria

Schloss Stainz

Schloss Stainz is a former monastery of the Augustinian Canons in Stainz. Today the Baroque complex belongs to the Counts of Meran and hosts two museum collections from the Universal Museum Joanneum. Stainz Priory was founded by the Augustinian Canons in 1229 when Leutold I von Wildon, lord of the manor of Stainz, allowed a small church with a monastery attached to be established on the mountain where his castle stood. ...
Founded: 1229 | Location: Stainz, Austria

Kremsmünster Abbey

Kremsmünster Abbey was founded in 777 by Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria. According to the foundation legend, Tassilo founded the monastery on the site where his son, Gunther, had been attacked and killed by a wild boar during a hunting trip. The first colony of monks came from Lower Bavaria, under Fateric, the first abbot. The new foundation received generous endowments from the founder and also from Charlemagne and his su ...
Founded: 777 AD | Location: Kremsmünster, Austria

Nonnberg Abbey

Nonnberg Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in Salzburg founded ca. 714 by Saint Rupert of Salzburg. It is the oldest women's religious house in the German-speaking world. Its first abbess was Saint Erentrudis of Salzburg, who was either a niece or a sister of Saint Rupert. The abbey was independent of the founding house from 987 and was re-built in about 1000. This building was largely destroyed in a fire of 1423. Reconst ...
Founded: ca. 714 AD | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Schottenstift

The Schottenstift (Scottish Abbey) is a Roman Catholic monastery founded in Vienna in 1155 when Henry II of Austria brought Irish monks to Vienna. The monks did not come directly from Ireland, but came instead from Scots Monastery in Regensburg, Germany. Henry granted the new monastery extensive privileges. Construction of the first monastery started in 1160, and the structure was consecrated in 1200. The monastery was ou ...
Founded: 1160 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Zwettl Abbey

Zwettl Abbey was founded in 1137 by Hadmar I of Kuenring. The foundation was confirmed by Pope Innocent II (1140) and over the course of time by several other popes and emperors. Several members of the family of the founder were buried here. The monastery was constructed, as Cistercian houses often were, in a river valley, in this case in a bend of the River Kamp. Extensive buildings were erected, and the church, chapte ...
Founded: 1137 | Location: Zwettl, Austria

Lilienfeld Abbey

Lilienfeld Abbey was founded in 1202 by Leopold VI, Duke of Austria and Styria, as a daughter house of Heiligenkreuz Abbey. Successive abbots acted as councillors to the rulers of Austria, and the abbey became wealthy as a result of this valuable connection. Abbot Matthew Kollweis (1650-1695) turned the monastery into a fortress during the Turkish advance against Vienna in 1683, installing a garrison and giving shelter t ...
Founded: 1202 | Location: Lilienfeld, Austria

Seitenstetten Abbey

Seitenstetten Abbey was founded in 1112 by Udalschalk, a relative of Bishop Ulrich of Passau, to which he gave all his estates as an endowment. In 1114 the new foundation was settled by monks from Göttweig Abbey. Bishop Ulrich dedicated the church in 1116 and granted the abbey the large parish of Aschbach. In 1142 it also received the large parish of Wolfsbach. Out of these two original parishes were formed the fourteen ...
Founded: 1112 | Location: Seitenstetten, Austria

Arnoldstein Abbey Ruins

Arnoldstein is a former Benedictine abbey. A fortress at the site was first mentioned about 1085/90, then held by ministeriales of the Bamberg prince-bishops who had received extended Carinthian estates from the hands of Emperor Henry II on the occasion of his coronation in 1014. To strengthen his episcopal authority, Bishop Otto of Bamberg had the castle slighted and established a Benedictine convent at the site in 1106. ...
Founded: c. 1080 | Location: Arnoldstein, Austria

St. Lambrecht's Abbey

St. Lambrecht"s Abbey was founded in 1076 by Count Markward of Eppenstein; it was dissolved from 1786 to 1805. In 1938, the building was seized by the National Socialists. From 1942 to 1945, it was used as an external storage facility of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. The monks returned in 1946. Locally the two churches within the monastic grounds are called the Grosskirche ('big church') and the ...
Founded: 1076 | Location: Sankt Lambrecht, Austria

Millstatt Abbey

Millstatt Abbey, established by Benedictine monks about 1070, is ranked among the most important Romanesque buildings in the state of Carinthia. The abbey prospered during its early years, enjoying special papal protection, again confirmed by Pope Alexander III in an 1177 deed; it was however never officially exempt and remained under the overlordship of the Archbishops of Salzburg. The premises included an adjacent nunne ...
Founded: 1070 | Location: Millstatt, Austria

Vorau Priory

Vorau Priory was founded in 1163 by Margrave Ottokar III. The monastery quickly became an religious and cultural center of Eastern Styria, but it was badly damaged by fires in 1237 and 1384. Vorau was located on the border to Hungary and therefore repeatedly faced military threats. The monastery was fortified and armed in the 1450s to defend the local population. The monastery was rebuilt into the Baroque style in 17th ...
Founded: 1163 | Location: Vorau, Austria

Lambach Abbey

A monastery was founded in Lambach in about 1040 by Count Arnold II of Lambach-Wels. His son, Bishop Adalbero of Würzburg, changed the monastery into a Benedictine abbey in 1056, which it has been since. During the 17th and 18th centuries a great deal of work in the Baroque style was carried out, much of it by the Carlone family. Lambach escaped the dissolution of the monasteries of Emperor Joseph II in the 1780s. Adolf ...
Founded: 1040 | Location: Lambach, Austria

Wernberg Convent

Wernberg convent stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking a bend in the Drau. The building run by the Sisters of the Precious Blood is actually in part a Renaissance castle dating back to the early 13th century. Today it houses a nunnery, education centre and guesthouse with its own farm and a well-stocked shop selling its produce.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Wernberg, Austria

Seckau Abbey

Seckau Abbey was endowed in 1140 by Augustinian canons. An already existing community in Sankt Marein bei Knittelfeld was moved to Seckau in 1142. At the request of Archbishop Konrad I of Salzburg, Pope Innocent II instituted the founding of the congregation and the transfer to Seckau on 12 March 1143. The abbey church, a Romanesque basilica, was built from 1143 to 1164. According to an old custom, the canons founded a d ...
Founded: 1143 | Location: Seckau, Austria

Engelszell Abbey

Engelszell Abbey is the only Trappist monastery in Austria. The abbey was founded in 1293 by Bernhard of Prambach, Bishop of Passau, as a Cistercian monastery. It was settled in 1295 by monks from Wilhering Abbey, its mother house, and was of the filiation of Morimond Abbey. It suffered a considerable decline, both spiritual and financial, in the period of the Protestant Reformation, and for a time passed into private own ...
Founded: 1293 | Location: Engelszell, Austria

Herzogenburg Monastery

Herzogenburg is an Augustinian monastery founded in 1112 by Ulrich I, Bishop of Passau, at St. Georgen an der Traisen. In 1244 because of frequent flooding it was moved up-river towards Herzogenburg. From 1714 the buildings were refurbished in the Baroque style by Jakob Prandtauer, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Josef Munggenast. The monastery was able to survive the dissolutions enforced by Emperor Joseph II in t ...
Founded: 1112 | Location: Herzogenburg, Austria

Viktring Abbey

Viktring Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery established in 1142 by Cistercian monks from Villers-Bettnach Abbey in the Duchy of Lorraine. Its lands were probably a gift of Count Bernhard of Spanheim-Marburg (Maribor), brother of Duke Engelbert of Carinthia, and his wife Kunigunde, daughter of Margrave Ottokar II of Styria. As early as 13 May in the following year the first abbot, Eberhard, was consecrated. The abbey c ...
Founded: 1142 | Location: Klagenfurt, Austria

Ossiach Abbey

In 878 the East Frankish king Carloman of Bavaria dedicated the Treffen estates around Lake Ossiach to the Benedictine monastery of Ötting. In the late 10th century the lands passed to the Bishops of Passau and later to Emperor Henry II, who conferred them to a certain Count Ozi, affiliated with the Styrian Otakar dynasty and father of Patriarch Poppo of Aquileia. A church probably already existed at Ossiach, when Count ...
Founded: 1024 | Location: Ossiach, Austria

Schlierbach Abbey

Schlierbach Abbey is a Cistercian monastery founded in 1355, and rebuilt in the last quarter of the 17th century. The original foundation was a convent for nuns, abandoned around 1556 during the Protestant Reformation. The abbey was reoccupied as a monastery in 1620, and rebuilt in magnificent baroque style between 1672 and 1712. The monastery again went into decline with the upheavals before, during and after the Napoleo ...
Founded: 1355 | Location: Schlierbach, Austria

Spital am Pyhrn Abbey

Spital am Pyhrn Abbey was founded around 1060. During the 3rd Crusade, Bishop Otto II of Bamberg founded a hospital in 1190. After this the abbey started to flourish until the it was destroyed by fire in 1502. The abbey was rebuilt in Baroque style. Today, the Austrian rock art museum is located in the restored Baroque rooms of the monastery.
Founded: 1060 | Location: Spital am Pyhrn, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Historic Village of Olargues

Olargues is a good example of a French medieval town and rated as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was occupied by the Romans, the Vandals and the Visigoths. At the end of the 11th century the Jaur valley came under the authority of the Château of the Viscount of Minerve. The following centuries saw a succession of wars and epidemics, and it was not until the 18th century that Olargues became re-established. This was due to the prosperity of local agriculture and artisanal industry.

The Pont du Diable, 'Devil's Bridge', is said to date back to 1202 and is reputed to be the scene of transactions between the people of Olargues and the devil. The old village is clustered around the belltower, which was formerly the main tower of the castle (Romanesque construction). The old shops have marble frontages and overhanging upper storeys. A museum of popular traditions and art is to be found in the stairs of the Commanderie.