Heiligenkreuz Abbey and Mayerling Castle for connoisseurs

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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.


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" * (Display) of the Cistercian monks from Heiligenkreuz Abbey can be heard. They are world famous for this. They have stormed the world charts with their CDs.

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.



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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. For starters, for example, there is cabbage soup. Maria, the cook from near Belgrade, tells us how much she likes working in the monastery. She places a soup pot in the middle of the table. She keeps asking if we like the food. And she reports that she brings her daughter to the monastery every now and then.

We help ourselves. The main meal is potato cookies with garlic cream and coleslaw. Homemade dishes like we cook at home. There's no chi-chi on this table, just healthy home cooking that tastes good.



In Heiligenkreuz you can stay overnight directly in the monastery. You can find out how to do this under “Travel organization” at the end of this post. However, 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 we will also get to know the life stories of some monks. Father Johannes Paul Chavanne has been at the Cistercian monastery in Heiligenkreuz since 2006. After a stay in India, during which he worked with street children, he first studied law in Vienna. After entering the monastery, however, he switched to theology. He has been the chaplain for the Olympic and Paralympic Games since 2013. As such, he attended, for example, the games in Sochi/Russia 2014, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil 2016 and Pyeong Chang/South Korea 2018. At dinner he finally tells us about his trip to Ethiopia. He shows us photos of 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 companion Elena Paschinger from 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

Finally, it is Brother Isaak Maria who leads us through the collegiate church and the monastery. The Cistercian monastery has existed without interruption since it was founded in 1133. Along with Heiligenkreuz monastery, only Rein monastery can claim this. However, this is a little older.


The monastery is built in the form of a square courtyard. One wing is reserved for the monks. This is where their accommodation is located. Part of the garden is exclusively accessible to them. “We find peace there even during the day,” explains Brother Isaak Maria. The sacristy is also located in this wing. The Cistercians keep church 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 is the heart of the monastery. It is located in the cloister, from which we have a view of the garden. “This symbolizes paradise,” explains Brother Isaak Maria. He is right. He actually has that effect on us with his roses.

The manuscript chamber

Father Roman shows us the monastery's manuscript chamber. They are the reason why we are visiting the monastery this time. For centuries, monks have written on parchment sheets with illuminations in the monastery's scriptorium. However, these treasures can only be accessed 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 also arrived in the modern age. He leads us through the theological college. This is located in the former monastery farm. It is an educational institution for theologians and has even been a “university of pontifical law” since 2007. Pope Benedict XVI has this title. awarded. The university has borne his name ever since. Lecture halls, a study library and a seminary offer an environment in which studying is fun.

But there is not only teaching in this part of the monastery. Studio 1133 is also located here. This film studio is equipped with the latest technology. Trade fairs from the monastery are broadcast live here. Interviews with high church representatives are also filmed in the studio. But the pen is also present on social media. Particular emphasis is placed on interactivity. On Tuesday it's time to open Facebook "We pray for you". By Tweet Participants can submit their wishes. And the monks pray these 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 your destination in Mayerling, the former hunting lodge of the Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf awaits you. The son of the Austrian Empress Elisabeth died there on January 30, 1889, along with his lover Mary Vetsera. The exact circumstances of her death are still unclear to this day. It is definitely a tragedy. Today you can take a look at the hunting lodge and the garden pavilion with an audio guide.

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. There is currently a seasonal menu that currently offers various dishes with fresh chanterelles. I choose chanterelles with Bohemian dumplings. Petar takes a sausage salad. For dessert there is the monastery cream slices, the house specialty. But how big can one actually be? It definitely exceeds all of our expectations – both in taste and in quantity. But see for yourself:

Monastery Cremeschnitte
Monastery Cremeschnitte


Our conclusion: the perfect travel destination for connoisseurs and hikers

If, like us, you like to look behind the scenes on your travels and are looking for peace and quiet, you will find a perfect travel destination for two days in Heiligenkreuz Abbey as well as in Mayerling. In the middle of the Vienna Woods, the Cistercian Monastery offers a place of silence and contemplation. Art as well as culture in this monastery go back to the 12th century. The monks of the monastery treat their guests with great hospitality. A visit to Heiligenkreuz Abbey 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.

Arrival at Heiligenkreuz Abbey

For example, book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. The nearest airport is Vienna Schwechat. Heiligenkreuz can also be easily reached by bus or train from Vienna, via Baden or via Mödling.

The most convenient way is definitely to travel by car. You can book a rental car * here.

Accommodation near Heiligenkreuz Abbey:

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

If you don't want that, you can find accommodation here, for example



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 then note “Hiking at Heiligenkreuz Abbey” on Pinterest


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More tips for Trips to Savor and Slow Travel can be found under these links. Or do you want more about instead Monasteries & churches experience? Are you also interested in this one? Hiking tip for Stift Lilienfeld and the Muckenkogel in Lower Austria?

Source Hiking at Heiligenkreuz Abbey: own research on site at the invitation of Klösterreich and Heiligenkreuz Abbey. However, our opinion remains unaffected.

Text Hiking at Heiligenkreuz Abbey: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos Kloster Stift Heiligenkreuz Austria: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: Heiligenkreuz Monastery Austria © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TWO


Heiligenkreuz Abbey and Mayerling Castle for connoisseurs

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

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.