Cistercian Monastery Heiligenkreuz

Choir stalls in the abbey Heiligenkreuz

Day trip to Cistercian Monastery Heiligenkreuz

The monks from the Cistercian Monastery of Heiligenkreuz are known in the Vienna woods mainly because of the sensational success of their choir. They celebrated this with their Gregorian chant in both the Classic Charts and the Pop Charts. The CD Chant - Music for Paradise alone stormed into the top ten of the pop charts in England immediately after its release. A success that until then only Falco and DJ Ötzi had achieved. This phenomenal success continued in Austria, Germany, England, Holland, Poland, Belgium and even the USA where it topped the Billboard charts.

The music on this CD is 900 year old choral songs by the Cistercians. These obviously met the taste of the time. If you want, you can listen to the monks live, even daily during the monks' choir prayers. However, we did not come to the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz to hear the monks. We wanted to visit the Cistercian Abbey Lower Austria to watch, which was founded in 1133. It is the largest cultural attraction in the world today Vienna woods.


The monastery building of Heiligenkreuz Abbey © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
The monastery building of the Cistercian Monastery Heiligenkreuz


Guided tour through Stift Heiligenkreuz

And impressive is the Collegiate Church of Heiligenkreuz, which is located in the narrow valley in the Vienna Woods, not far from the city Baden near Vienna nestles. We meet Frater Nicholas, a young monk who guides us through the monastery and the church. He speaks amazingly open about life as a monk in modern times. At first I do not dare ask too curious questions about life in the monastery. I fear being too indiscreet, but when Fr Nikolaus, without hesitation, answers my cautiously formulated questions, I am getting more and more courageous. He tells us frankly about the life behind the monastery walls.


Hotels in the Vienna Woods *


Father Nikolaus explains monastic life to us © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Father Nicholas explains monastic life to us


Life as a monk

I want to know from him what life looks like as a monk in this day and age. Do not you live in this world? Frater Nikolaus laughs and explains that the closeness to the modern man is very important, especially among the Cistercians. Only then could the Christian thought be further communicated. Somehow we come to the proselytizing. Here, too, he means that only through contact with the people on the ground do they experience what Christian life looks like. It is not missionary in the foreground, but living together in everyday life. Whether this is really so, I can not judge as an outsider. But I'm impressed by the frankness with which Fr Nikolaus talks to us about these topics.


A saint relief in the monastery © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
A saint relief in the monastery


Cloister, funerary chapel and Annakapelle

He leads us through the cloister and shows us the death chapel and the Annakapelle in the inner monastery area. In the collegiate church he tells us about the founding of the church and how Robert of Molesme founded the Order and Bernard of Clairvaux made him known. He shows us how different the works are that monks practice in Heiligenkreuz Abbey. In the sacristy, we see works of art created by monks of the monastery. Even today, a monk living in Heiligenkreuz Abbey produces his works of art, sculptures and furnishings for the public spaces of the monastery.


Beautiful stained glass windows in the Stiftskirche © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Beautiful stained glass windows in the collegiate church


In the collegiate church

After our tour, at the end of our tour, we stop at the beautifully carved choir stalls of the collegiate church, where Brother Nikolaus shows us one of the hymn books. He picks it up from below, puts it on the choir bench and hits the book cover so that it pops. Then he looks at me mischievously and asks: "Do you know where the saying 'open a book' comes from?" It is easy to guess that it has to do with his behavior. And he explains: “The books are closed on the side with a narrow metal buckle and can only be opened if the book pages are close together. So the monks have to open the books that way. ”


The book is open © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
The book is open


After our tour of the Heiligenkreuz Abbey, we received interesting, astonishing and surprising insights into the life of today's monks and will certainly see life in the monastery with new eyes in the future. And as it should be, after our visit we still stay in the monastery tavern, where we conclude our visit to the monks in the monastery Heiligenkreuz a hearty snack relish.

Travel Arrangements:

Getting there

Book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. The nearest airport is Vienna Schwechat. Heiligenkreuz can be easily reached by public transport from Vienna, via Baden or via Mödling.

The most comfortable way is by car. You can book a rental car * here.

Excursions from Vienna:

There are also organized excursions from Vienna to Stift Heiligenkreuz and the Wienerwald:


Stift Heiligenkreuz offers simple accommodation in the monastery for guests who are seriously interested in life in the monastery. Participation in services and prayer hours is desired.
Inquiries by email to:

If you do not want to, you will find accommodations here


Travel destinations in the Vienna Woods


Source: own research on site at the invitation of Wienerwald Tourismus. Our opinion remains unaffected.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

Cistercian Monastery Heiligenkreuz
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