Erzabtei St Peter


The mighty bell tower of the Collegiate Church of Abbey of St.Peter complex with greenery of Monchsberg hill on the background, Salzburg, Austria; Shutterstock ID 1478477327; Your name (First / Last): Lauren Vastine; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: BiT2020 Imagery

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A Frankish missionary named Rupert founded this abbey-church and monastery in around 700, making it the oldest in the German-speaking world. Though a vaulted Romanesque portal remains, today’s church is overwhelmingly baroque, with rococo stucco, statues – including one of archangel Michael shoving a crucifix through the throat of a goaty demon – and striking altar paintings by Martin Johann Schmidt.

Take a stroll around the cemetery, where the graves are miniature works of art with intricate stonework and filigree wrought-iron crosses. Composer Michael Haydn (1737–1806), opera singer Richard Mayr (1877–1935) and renowned Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst (1856–1941) lie buried here; the last is watched over by skull-bearing cherubs.

The cemetery is home to the catacombs – cave-like chapels and crypts hewn out of the Mönchsberg cliff face.