Stift Stams

Tyrol

One of Tyrol’s true architectural highlights is the ochre-and-white Zisterzienstift in Stams, founded in 1273 by Elizabeth of Bavaria, the mother of Konradin, the last of the Hohenstaufens. Set in pristine grounds, the monumental facade stretches 80m and is easily recognised by its pair of silver cupolas at the front, which were added as a final flourish when the abbey was revamped in baroque style in the 17th century.

The exuberant church interior is dominated by the high altar: the inter­twining branches of this version of the ‘tree of life’ support 84 saintly figures surrounding an image of the Virgin. Near the entrance is the Rose Grille, an exquisite iron screen made in 1716. Crane your neck to admire the ceiling adorned with rich stuccowork, gold swirls and elaborate frescoes by Georg Wolker.