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.
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.
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.
Cloister, mortuary chapel and Anna chapel in the Cistercian monastery of Heiligenkreuz
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.
In the collegiate church in the Cistercian monastery of Heiligenkreuz
After our tour, we stop at the beautifully carved choir stalls of the monastery church at the end of our tour of the Cistercian monastery of Heiligenkreuz, where Frater Nikolaus shows us one of the hymn books. He picks it up from below, puts it on the choir pew and hits the book cover with a loud bang. Then he looks at me mischievously and asks, "Do you know where the phrase 'open a book' comes from?" It's easy to guess that it has something to do with his behavior. And he explains: “The books are closed on the side with a tight metal buckle and can only be opened when the book pages are close together. Therefore the monks must open the books in this way.”
After our tour of the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz, we gained interesting, amazing and surprising insights into the life of today's monks and will certainly see life in the monastery with different eyes in the future. And as it should be, after our visit we make a stop in the monastery tavern, where we end our visit with the monks in the monastery of Heiligenkreuz for a hearty drink snack relish.
Parking at the airport
Arrival at the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz
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 the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz and to the Vienna Woods:
Accommodation in and around the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz:
The Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz offers simple overnight accommodation in the monastery for guests who are seriously interested in monastery life. Participation in church services and prayer hours is encouraged.
Inquiries by email to: email@example.com
If you do not want to, you will find accommodations here
- Gaaden *
- im Helenental near Heiligenkreuz *
- in Alland near Heiligenkreuz *
- or in 12 km away Baden b. Vienna*
Travel destinations in the Vienna Woods
Do you also know:
- Visit churches, monasteries, cathedrals
- Vienna Insider Tips for Vienna off the beaten track
- České Budějovice, Czech Republic – Ceske Budejovice and its sights
Source: Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz: Research on site at the invitation of Wienerwald Tourismus. However, our opinion remains unaffected.
Text Cistercian Monastery Heiligenkreuz: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline