Stift Heiligenkreuz

Lower Austria

This medieval monastery is one of the country’s most beautiful and is not only the second-oldest Cistercian monastery in the world but the oldest continuously inhabited and active one. Among many highlights is the vaulted Romanesque nave which was consecrated in 1187, along with the tomb of Leopold V – Richard the Lionheart’s kidnapper.

The chapter house is the final resting place of most of the Babenberg dynasty, which ruled Austria until 1246. The abbey museum contains 150 clay models by Giovanni Giuliani (1663–1744), a Venetian sculptor who also created the Trinity column in the courtyard. Note that tours in English are by advance request only.

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