Säben Abbey

Chiusa, Italy

Säben Abbey was established in 1687, when it was first settled by the nuns of Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg. Situated on the 'holy mountain', Säben was for centuries a centre of pilgrimage and controlled an extensive religious precinct. On the site of the present nunnery there was an earlier Roman settlement. Between the 6th century and about 960 there was a bishopric (episcopatus Sabiona) seated here. The church 'im Weinberg' dates from that time and its remains have been excavated along with a large burial ground in recent times.

Säben later became a fortress of the bishops. In the 14th and 15th centuries Säben Castle was the seat of the judges of Klausen and the centre of administration of the southern territories of the Diocese of Brixen.

A community of Benedictine nuns was established here in 1686 by the local priest, in premises at the foot of the mountain. The abbey church was dedicated by Johann Franz, Count Khuen von Belasi, then Bishop of Brixen.

Although the nunnery was repeatedly looted during the Napoleonic wars and stripped of its assets during the secularization in 1803, the community survived although in an impoverished state through the 19th century until it gradually revived from about 1880, when, during the period of the Kulturkampf in Germany (1871–1878), the monks of Beuron Abbey were in exile in the county of Tyrol and were in contact with the nuns at Säben. At this time new premises were built in the ruins of the castle on the mountain. The nuns of Säben adopted the Beuronese mode of life, although the abbey was formally accepted into the Beuronese Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation only in 1974.



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SS12 3, Chiusa, Italy
See all sites in Chiusa


Founded: 1687
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jessy 0906 (3 years ago)
To get there, it can be reached well from the motorway exit in Brixen / Val Gardena, you can see it well. Very nice seen from the outside, it deserves a whole uphill walk, poles are handy. The nuns and priests by now very experienced are sometimes seen clinging to the handrail that go down and up from that slightly tiring slope
Uwe Rüdiger (4 years ago)
the monastery has been enthroned imposing over Klausen for centuries. But you should be able to walk well, as you cannot drive up by car. Both churches can be visited during the day free of charge, as can part of the complex. Here you have a feeling of calm and a fantastic panoramic view. The way from the picturesque downtown of Chiusa is worth it.
eeeee eeeeee (4 years ago)
The ascent to the monastery is rewarded by the view of the valley and the mountains that crown it. The single nave of considerable size is beautiful, all frescoed with perspective effects.
sara de felice (4 years ago)
Breathtaking panorama. Beautiful flower gardens. Monastery carved into the rock. A must see. There is no entrance fee, reachable only on foot about 25-30 minutes above Chiusa. Hiking shoes recommended (not suitable for strollers)
Ernie Geefay (5 years ago)
WALKING DIRECTIONS to the abbey. on Google maps are NOT CORRECT. The stairways leading up to the abbey is hidden away in town near the fountain in the square. Paste this location in the search box for Google maps .... Salita Sabiona, 11, 39043 Chiusa BZ, Italy....but dont follow Google maps directions if you are headed north because it will direct you to walk on the main road and there are parts of the road without sidewalks. Enter the main part of old town and head to the fountain. From there you can find the entrance to the stairway. There is a Jesus on the cross above the stone archway. The abbey is well worth the climb If you're doing it in the summer I would recommend either early morning or late afternoon when it's not so hot. It's a steep climb about 400 feet up. When you get to the top there are panoramic views of the city. Follow the wall around the back of the Abbey and you can enter the churches. Through a tunnel passageway there is another route that takes you around the other side of the mountains and back to the arched entrance
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