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. Reconstruction took place between 1464 and 1509.

The nunnery′s church Maria Himmelfahrt is Salzburg′s oldest church dedicated to the holy Virgin Mary and is one of the most significant churches of the city. It was built in late-gothic style with three naves from 1464 to 1506. In 1624 the church was enlarged by the addition of three side chapels. A refurbishment in the Baroque style took place in the 1880s. The church contains a Romanesque crypt that visitors should note, with the tomb of St. Erentrudis. The entrances to the crypt are in the side-naves.

Through Maria Augusta Kutschera, later Maria Augusta von Trapp, who was a postulant in the abbey after World War I and whose life was the basis for the film The Sound of Music, the abbey has acquired international fame. The Mother Abbess during Maria's time at Nonnberg was Sister Virgilia Lütz (1869-1949).

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Founded: ca. 714 AD
Category: Religious sites in Austria

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Xavier Hamilton (3 months ago)
Awesome history behind this place. Highly recommended a visit.
Anand Subbaiah (3 months ago)
Beautiful view from top.. Best for photographers. Please try out once when you are at salsburg
Sean Hillier (5 months ago)
If you're a sound of music fan then this limited experience is worth the walk. If you have no idea what I'm talking about then I wouldn't go. You only have access to the small chapel on site but the gates as seen in the film are a great photo opportunity.
Aishah Bailey (5 months ago)
Lovely church with great ambiance. Intimate cemetery just outside. Beautiful view from outside. Please keep quiet and be respectful if and when visiting as this is a place of worship.
Olivia H (7 months ago)
We walked up here on the way to see the fortress. It was pretty quiet, free to visit, had some great views, and was overall a nice place to stop. You do have to climb some stairs to get there. I recommend taking this route up to the fortress as well. You’ll save 4 euros each ticket if you walk up instead of taking the funicular up, and it’s not a bad walk.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.