Göttweig Abbey in the Wachau
(Advertisement) A holiday in the Wachau is not complete without a visit to Göttweig Abbey. The Benedictine monastery in the Wachau can be seen from afar. It sits enthroned on a hill above the town of Furth near Krems on the southern foothills of the Dunkelsteinerwald in Lower Austria. The monastery goes back to the year 1083, when Bishop Altmann von Passau had a canon monastery built. The Benedictines took over the monastery as early as 1094. They look back on a history full of threats and strokes of fate, ranging from the threat of the Turks and economic decline to the expropriation of the monastery in World War II. Nevertheless, the Benedictines once again determine the fortunes of the monastery.
Göttweig Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in baroque splendor
Although Göttweig Abbey was built in the 11th century, only a few buildings from that time have survived. Only the "castle", the Erentrudis chapel in the collegiate courtyard and the nave of the collegiate church are of Romanesque origin. The chancel of the collegiate church as well as the crypt and the sacristies are from the late Gothic period (15th century). Wings of the cloister are also Gothic. In 1580 most of the monastery buildings burned down. After another fire in 1718, the Benedictine monastery of Göttweig was rebuilt in the Baroque style.
Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt designed the plans for the new monastery. However, not the entire design has been implemented. Only about two-thirds of the buildings from Hildebrandt's plan have been completed.
Father Maximilian Krenn accompanies us on our tour of the monastery. We already know him from our visit to the St. Paul Abbey in the Lavant Valley in Carinthia, where he was administrator of the monastery for three years. In the meantime he has returned to his home monastery as Prior of Göttweig Abbey.
The Kaiserstiege in the Kaisertrakt
The baroque Kaiserstiege with the ceiling painting by Paul Troger (1739) is magnificent. It is one of the most beautiful and largest staircases in Europe from the Baroque period.
The Museum in the Imperial Wing
From the Kaiserstiege you can get to the museum in the Kaisertrakt. A monastery model shows what the monastery complex would have looked like if Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt's plans had been fully completed. The rooms that the emperor used as accommodation during his visits are now used as event and exhibition rooms.
View of the Wachau and the Danube from Göttweig Abbey
From these rooms you have a view of the Wachau and the Danube.
Interior of the Collegiate Church
Both the sanctuary and the side altars show how magnificently the collegiate church of Göttweig Abbey is furnished.
Apricots and herbs in the apricot garden of Göttweig Abbey
A visit to the monastery's apricot garden brings you closer to the culinary delights that the monastery has to offer. At an apricot tasting, apricot liqueur, frizzante or apricot brandy are served. In addition, delicious apricot juice is prepared from the fruits that ripen in the near-natural apricot orchard. The monks also grow herbs there, which the chefs use in the dishes served in the monastery restaurant.
Overnight in the guest house of Göttweig Abbey
So far we had only seen Göttweig from afar. On our trips to Weinviertel and in the Wachau we saw the monastery complex again and again. That made us curious. So we were very happy when we Klösterreich invited to visit this monastery. For three days we enjoyed our stay in the monastery's guest house. We stayed in one of the standard rooms in the guest house in Göttweig Abbey. These are simply but modernly furnished. Our room had a small table with two chairs, a double bed, a closet, a sofa and a modern bathroom with a rain shower. The most beautiful thing about our room, however, was the magnificent view of the Wachau and the peace and quiet. You don't hear any traffic noise here. Only wind and weather make themselves felt. There are a total of 36 guest rooms in the guest house. 11 single rooms and 10 double or twin rooms are furnished in a monastic style. There are also 10 double rooms (some handicapped accessible) in a modern style.
The Benedict Apartment
Alternatively, one can also stay in the Benedict Apartment, which was occupied by a former abbot. With a library, living room, bedroom and a spacious bathroom, you are accommodated in the living area of the monastery.
The overnight stay in the guest house of Göttweig Abbey includes a rich breakfast, which is served in the monastery restaurant. A selection of fruit, yoghurt, muesli, types of bread, vegetables, sausage and cheese ensure a good start to the day.
The monastery restaurant in Göttweig monastery
You can also have a good dinner in the monastery restaurant. However, Mondays and Tuesdays are days off. Those were the days when we were guests at Göttweig Abbey. Although the kitchen remained cold, a cold plate with specialties from the region had been prepared for us, which we were served in the monastery restaurant. This suggests that you can also eat well there during the opening hours of the restaurant. Reservations are recommended by calling +43.(0)2732.85581-225 or by email email@example.com
Hospitality is very important at Göttweig Abbey in the Wachau. We felt very comfortable during our stay in this monastery. It is an excellent starting point for trips to the Wachau. At the same time you spend the night in the guest house in the tranquility of nature. We particularly liked that.
You need this for a hike in the vicinity of Göttweig Abbey
- Pack your backpack with our packing list for hikers. Then you are guaranteed to have everything you need on the go.
- Comfortable You need walking shoes for wide feetwhere you can walk well even on rough paths
- A backpack is definitely practical for everything you need on the go.
- The region offers beautiful photo opportunities. Therefore you should bring your camera .
- Are you looking for other equipment for hikers?
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information here and booking options. Or would you prefer to stay overnight in a roof tent on the car? Also the overnight stay in camping tents is possible.
- Check with ours packing list for camperswhether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour. Then you are ready for your wine weekend in Franconia.
- You want to know where to go with a motorhome stay in Europe can and are you looking for parking spaces and campsites? You can find information about this under this link.
– A campsite near Göttweig Abbey is Donau Camping Krems, Yachthafenstrasse 19, 3500 Krems an der Donau, Austria. There you can after a day trip in a with a Dutch Oven or preparing your meal on the portable grill after a day trip . Dutch oven accessories can be found here.
- Why is a folding e-bike useful when camping?
Arrival by plane, public transport or car
Arrival by plane, bus or train*. The nearest airport is Vienna Schwechat. From there you can travel to Krems by rental car or public transport. There is a train station in Krems.
There is no public transport to Göttweig Abbey. It is therefore possible to arrive by taxi or rental car.
Cheap rental cars - book here! *
Do you already know:
- Melk Abbey, Austria
- Experience the Wachau in autumn
- Durnstein in the Wachau
- Wachau Hotels on the Danube for your wine journey through the Wachau
- Wachau attractions for connoisseurs discover
- Krems an der Donau – sights and tips for enjoyment
- Garden splendor in Veitshöchheim in Franconia
- Enjoy Beer and Gardens in the Abbey Schlägl in the Šumava Peninsula
Source: On-site research. We thank Klösterreich and Stift Göttweig for the invitation to this trip. However, our opinion is our own.
Text: Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline