Heiligenkreuz Abbey and Mayerling Castle for connoisseurs

Heiligenkreuz Abbey Holidays in Austria Hiking

2 days Stift Heiligenkreuz for connoisseurs

This is an Austria vacation with hiking for connoisseurs. We take two days for our Heiligenkreuz Abbey Austria and Mayerling Castle hiking tour for connoisseurs in the Vienna woods. Heiligenkreuz Abbey in Lower Austria we visited a few years ago. Our insights behind the scenes of the monastery we want to deepen this time. We stay in one of the guest rooms in the monastery. In addition, we may on this from Klösterreich organized press trip to take a look at rooms that are not open to the public. Our first visit made us curious. This time we get deep insights into life in the Abbey of Heiligenkreuz.

You only have half a day to spend at Heiligenkreuz Abbey?

Then we recommend one Excursion* to Heiligenkreuz Abbey and Mayerling Vienna.


Brother Isaak Maria shows the reading book in Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Brother Isaak Maria shows the reading book in the monastery Stift Heiligenkreuz Austria


We begin our visit with the monks' prayer in the collegiate church. The Latin choral prayer takes place daily in the abbey church in summer. In winter, the monks meet in the Bernardikapelle. This is one way to get one "Chants of Paradise" * the Cistercian monks from Heiligenkreuz Abbey can hear. For this they are world famous. With their CDs they stormed the charts around the world.

Father John Paul Chavanne is responsible for public relations in the monastery. He welcomes us for a simple lunch. This is served in the Gästerefektorium. Two long tables are ready for the monastery guests. Unlike in the St. Paul's Abbey in Lavanttal we do not eat in the refectory of the monks. That would not be feasible for 97 monks, who currently live in Heiligenkreuz Abbey.


Do you like to travel by motorhome?


Potato biscuits with garlic cream and coleslaw in Kloster Stift Heiligenkreuz Austria
Potato biscuits with garlic cream and coleslaw in Kloster Stift Heiligenkreuz Austria


Lunch in the guest refectory of Heiligenkreuz Abbey

The food is simple but tasty. This is how I imagine the food in the monastery. There is cabbage soup with the starter. Maria, the cook from near Belgrade, tells us how much she likes working in the monastery. She puts a soup pot in the middle of the table. Again and again she asks whether we like the food. And she reports that she brings her daughter to the monastery from time to time.

We serve ourselves. As a main meal, there are potato cookies with garlic cream and coleslaw. Homemade dishes, as we cook them at home. There is no chi-chi on this table, but healthy home-style food that tastes good.


In Heiligenkreuz you can spend the night directly in the abbey. You can find out how to do this under “Travel Organization” at the end of this post. There are also other accommodation options nearby:


The Skriptorium was heated in the Middle Ages as the only room
The Skriptorium was heated in the Middle Ages as the only room


The monks in Stift Heiligenkreuz

How nice on our last visit to the monastery this time too we get to know the life stories of some monks. Father Johannes Paul Chavanne has been with the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz since 2006. After a stay in India, where he worked with street children, he first studied law in Vienna. After entering the monastery, however, he switched to theology. Since 2013 he has been a pastor for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. As such, he attended the games in Sochi / Russia in 2014, Rio de Janeiro / Brazil in 2016 and Pyeong Chang / South Korea in 2018. Over dinner, he finally told us about his trip to Ethiopia. He shows us photos from a visit to a men's monastery that can only be reached via climbing ropes. "Women are not allowed there," he says, looking at me and our companions Elena Paschinger von Creative Lena and Angelica Mandler-Saul from On the road again.

The guest master of the abbey also surprises me. He tells us that he worked in his IT before his time as a monk. Brother Isaak Maria, a novice, reports how he spends his free time: “I like going swimming every now and then. This is particularly pleasant in the summer months. We just have to log out, ”he laughs. When I asked what was the reason for him to enter the monastery, he replied: "Living in community with the other monks."


Created by monks on parchment
Created by monks on parchment


Art and architecture in Stift Heiligenkreuz

Frater Isaac Maria is the one who leads us through the collegiate church and the monastery. The Cistercian Monastery has existed without interruption since its founding in the year 1133. Besides Stift Heiligenkreuz, only Stift Rein can claim this. This is a bit older though.

The pen is built in the shape of a square courtyard. A wing is reserved for the monks. This is where their accommodations are. Part of the garden is only accessible to them. "We also find peace there during the day," explains Brother Isaak Maria. The sacristy is also located in this wing. The Cistercian keep their vestments in their cupboards. One of them shows us Brother Isaak Maria.


Valuable priestly robe from the 17. century
Priestly robe from the 17th century


We visit the cloister and the chapter house where the last Babenbergs are buried. The fountain forms the heart of the monastery. It is located in the cloister, from which we have an insight into the garden. “This symbolizes paradise,” explains Brother Isaak Maria. He is right. With his roses he actually looks like this to us.

The manuscript chamber

Father Roman shows us the manuscript chamber of the convent. They are the reason why we visit the monastery this time. For centuries, monks have described parchment sheets in the scriptorium of the abbey with illuminations. These treasures can only be reached through a steel door. There they are protected from daylight.


Father Roman shows us manuscripts
Father Roman shows us manuscripts


Modern Times in Stift Heiligenkreuz

Father Johannes Paul shows us that Heiligenkreuz Abbey does not only manage historical values, but has arrived in modern times. He leads us through the theological college. This is located in the former abbey farm. It is an educational institution for theologians and, since 2007, has even been a "university under papal law". Her Pope Benedict XVI. awarded. The university has borne its name since then. Lecture halls, a study library and a seminary offer an environment in which studying is fun.

But there is not just teaching in this part of the congregation. Here is also the studio 1133. This film studio is equipped with the latest technology. Here fairs are transmitted live from the pen. Interviews with high church representatives are done in the studio. But the pen is also present in the social media. In doing so, special emphasis is placed on interactivity. On Tuesday it says up Facebook "We pray for you". By Tweet Participants can submit their wishes. And the monks pray the same live in front of the camera.


Inner courtyard of the university in Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Courtyard of the college


Hiking on the Via Sacra

The hikers among you can walk from Stift Heiligenkreuz to Mayerling, three kilometers away. The trail follows Austria's oldest pilgrimage route, the Via Sacrawhich leads in its full length from Vienna to Mariazell. On the short section between Heiligenkreuz and Mayerling, you will mainly go through forest regions of the Vienna Woods. For the route you need a good hour.


Father Tarcisius hiking in Mayerling Castle - Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Father Tarcisius accompanies us on the Via Sacra to Mayerling - hiking near Stift Heiligenkreuz Austria


At the destination in Mayerling the former hunting lodge of the Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf awaits you. The son of the Austrian Empress Elisabeth found there at the 30. January 1889's death, along with his lover Mary Vetsera. The exact circumstances of her death are still unclear to this day. It's definitely a tragedy. Today you can see the hunting lodge and the garden pavilion with an audioguide.

Handy for the hike


Pure enjoyment in the Klostergasthof

After our return to Heiligenkreuz Abbey, we take a break at the monastery inn. The day before we had dinner in the beer garden under the linden trees. The trees are currently in full bloom and exude a beguiling scent. In the midday heat they donate exactly the shade that we want. With a glass elderberry syrup We refresh ourselves with soda and citron after our visit to Mayerling. While we wait for our lunch, we enjoy the view of the pen again and watch the comings and goings that take place there.

The menu promises specialties from the Vienna Woods. At the moment there is a seasonal menu which offers different dishes with fresh mushrooms (chanterelles). I choose Eierschwammerl with Bohemian dumplings. Petar not a sausage salad. And for dessert, there's the monastic cream slices, the specialty of the house. But how big is this supposed to be? It exceeds all our expectations - in taste as well as in quantity. But see for yourself:

Monastery Cremeschnitte
Monastery Cremeschnitte


Our conclusion: the perfect travel destination for connoisseurs and hikers

Those who, like us, like to look behind the scenes on their travels and seek rest, will find in Heiligenkreuz and Mayerling Abbey a perfect destination for two days. In the middle of the Vienna Woods, the Cistercian Monastery offers a place of silence and contemplation. Art and culture in this monastery go back to the 12. Century. The monks of the convent host their guests with great hospitality. A visit to Stift Heiligenkreuz is a very special experience.

Travel Arrangements:


Stift Heiligenkreuz
Holy Cross 1
2532 Heiligenkreuz in the Wienerwald

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.


Book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. The nearest airport is Vienna Schwechat. Heiligenkreuz is easy to reach by bus or train 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 excursions from Vienna to Stift Heiligenkreuz and the Wienerwald:


Stift Heiligenkreuz offers accommodation in the monastery for guests who are seriously interested in life in the monastery. Participation in services and prayer hours is desired.
There are also three hostels with bunk beds.

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



Daily: Mon - Sat, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16; So 11, 14, 15, 16 clock.

Church service:

Holy Mass on Sundays and public holidays
Sa 18.35; So 8.30, 9.30 (Convention Fair), 11.00, 18.45 watch
Holy Mass on weekdays
Daily: 6.25 Clock Convention Fair, 18.45 Parish Fair

Prayer of the monks:

In summer in the abbey church, in winter in the Bernardikapelle
Daily. 5.15 vigils; 6.00 Lauds, weekdays 6.25 Convention Fair (Sundays 9.30 Convention Fair)
12.00 third and sixth, 12.55 Non; 18.00 Vespers; 19.45 Compline; 20.10 Rosary (Kreuzkirche)

Klostergasthof Heiligenkreuz:

Specialties from the Wienerwald. No rest day except Christday.


Other destinations in the Vienna Woods


Hiking at Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Click on the photo and make a note of “Wander bei Heiligenkreuz” on Pinterest


Do you already know:


More tips for Trips to Savor and Slow Travel you can find under these links. Or do you want more about Monasteries & churches experience? Does this interest you? Hiking tip for Stift Lilienfeld and the Muckenkogel in Lower Austria?

Hiking source Stift Heiligenkreuz: own research on site at the invitation of Klösterreich and Stift Heiligenkreuz. Our opinion remains unaffected.

Text Stift Heiligenkreuz hiking: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos Kloster Heiligenkreuz Abbey Austria: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Video: Kloster Heiligenkreuz Monastery Austria © Copyright Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline


Heiligenkreuz Abbey and Mayerling Castle for connoisseurs

Travel expert Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Food and Slow Travel blog  TravelWorldOnline. They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Their topics are trips to Savor, wine tourism worldwide and slow travel. During her studies Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she - partly together with Petar Fuchs - traveled to the USA and Canada and spent a research year in British Columbia. This intensified her thirst for knowledge, which she satisfied for 6 years as an adventure guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as a tour guide for Studiosus Reisen around the world. She was constantly expanding her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: "What's beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do they eat in this region?" As a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), she is now looking for answers to these questions as a travel writer and travel blogger in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is among Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021. Find more Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs here.

6 thoughts too "Heiligenkreuz Abbey and Mayerling Castle for connoisseurs"

  1. Normally you do not get me lured by the chimney with theology, but I already found the personal story of Father John Paul Chavanne interesting. Well, and still the monastery cream slices ... there is the whole thing then synonymous interesting for me;)


    1. Dear Nicole,

      we are not religious either. We are fascinated by the monasteries because of their history and the works of art they often own. Since we often visit monasteries, we have always looked a little behind the scenes, and life there is often very different from what is commonly imagined. This is particularly interesting for Heiligenkreuz Abbey. Not to mention the monastery cream slices…

      Best regards,

  2. Dear Monika, Dear Petar,

    it is certainly exciting to visit a monastery. I would also like to experience that. Great that there are parchment scrolls to admire ... I would also like the hike.

    Best regards,

    1. Dear Ricarda,

      that is really something else. The parchment rolls also impressed us. And if you like hiking, there are even more opportunities in the region.

      Best regards,

    1. Liebe Angelika,

      It was nice in Heiligenkreuz Abbey, right?

      Best regards,

Comments are closed.