Monastery holiday at St. Paul Abbey in Lavanttal in Carinthia
Like a monastery vacation in the Benedictine Abbey of St Paul in Lavanttal Carinthia looks like, we wonder. We are invited to experience this for a day. We have been in several times monasteries to guest. One thing became clear to us. Every stay in a monastery is different. That depends on the type of monastery. The Order plays a role to which the monastery belongs. And of course, the people who live in the monastery, such a stay. It is the same with St. Paul Abbey in Lavanttal. Here we introduce to you, what our monastery vacation in Benedictine monastery St Paul in Lavanttal makes something special.
Our monastery holiday in the Benedictine Abbey of St Paul in Lavanttal
The Lavant Valley in Carinthia
What immediately strikes us is how beautiful the Lavant Valley is. It's a quiet region, perfect for a monastery vacation. Our navigation system takes us down country roads away from larger towns into the valley. The first glance shows how fertile this valley is. Just a few meters further on, a sign on the road indicates that we are here in one of the pleasure regions Austria are located. Apple cider is produced in the Lavant Valley. My first thought is: "We have to come here at the time of the apple harvest." I particularly like the orchards that we see on the trip to St. Paul. After our arrival at the abbey, we quickly realized that it wasn't just apples that made the valley prosper. There is also wine here. Livestock farming also plays a role and you grow asparagus. We can try it at lunch in the monastery.
If you want to stay outside the monastery, this is possible:
Food in the refectory of the monks
We arrive at the monastery at noon. For the Benedictines this means that the midday shore takes place in the collegiate chapel at 12.00 p.m. The entire daily routine is based on the daily prayers. Guests are welcome. The first takes place at 6.00:XNUMX a.m. "The number of guests is usually limited," laughs Father Maximilian. What amazes us is that more guests than monks attend the midday prayer. Later, Father Maximilian Krenn, the monastery administrator, said: "We expect our guests to show a certain interest in the processes in the monastery." A vacation like any other is not a monastery vacation in the Benedictine monastery of St Paul in Lavanttal. For this we are allowed to dine with the monks in the refectory of the monastery for the first time.
This monastery holiday gives us an interesting insight into life behind monastery walls. At the same time we get personal contact with the monks. Our image of the life of the monks in the seclusion of the monastery collapses completely when our young table neighbor asks us at dinner: “Do you like jazz?” To my astonished look he replies: “Tonight there is a jam session in a local restaurant . ”This is a tip that I would never have expected from a monk's mouth.
We are just as surprised how we eat lunch. The table in the refectory is covered with pure white tablecloths. Next to each plate there is a perfectly folded cloth napkin. Also pure white. You can drink wine from the monastery vineyard or mineral water. “The wine is only available on special occasions,” Brother Maximilian explains to us later. But the food that three monks serve exceeds all expectations. It has nothing to do with a meager meal behind monastery walls. On the contrary! Father Nikolaus cooks here. With passion! He taught himself how to cook and process the monastery products. During our monastery holiday there is asparagus cream soup, char with vegetable julienne and green noodles and a cheesecake with fruit sauce that tastes simply delicious.
Dinner and breakfast
Our dinner is more like what I imagine by monastic food: there is a smoked trout from a breeder in the valley. In addition freshly baked bread from the monastery kitchen. Butter and a selection of cheeses complete the meal. Father Maximilian serves us beer or water to drink. At both meals, one of the young monks reads passages from the Bible. We also learn that the time to eat is limited. It is only served after a small bell rings. This also ends the meal. A day in the monastery is subject to precise rules. The order of St. Benedict of Nursia "Ora et Labora (et Lege)" still determines the daily routine in the monastery.
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The monastery museum
From the monastery library we get to the museum, where we see exhibits from the history of the art of writing. I discover illuminated manuscripts that were created in the writing rooms of the monasteries. Some of the old book covers take our breath away. There is one who is adorned with red velvet and silver fittings. Another is made of pure gold. Another is decorated with a detailed carved ivory relief. In the museum you will find paintings by Rubens, van Dyck and Breughel. We discover the Adelheid Cross from the 11th century.
We learn a lot about the spread of Christianity in the region. A map shows how Irish monks made their way to Carinthia. On another, we see how the Benedictines traveled from St. Blasien in Switzerland to St. Paul. A monastic model shows us the great plans the abbots of the past had with the monastery. However, these came about only partially. Such as the plan to expand the monastery in the style of the Spanish Escorial. You have done only a part of it. The levies that the Austrian imperial family demanded from the monastery were too high.
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The collegiate church
Third in the alliance of magnificent sights on the summit of the Felssporns in St. Paul is the collegiate church. Originally the end of the 12. Built in the 18th century, the lower part of the building still clearly shows the Romanesque architecture in which it was built. A fire in the year 1367 destroyed the roof of the church. You can clearly see the Gothic structures on the Romanesque substructure, which were then added. The equipment of the church comes mostly from the 18. Century.
The rooms for a monastery holiday in the Benedictine Abbey of St Paul in Lavanttal
The overnight stay in one of the guest rooms of the abbey concludes our monastery holiday in the Benedictine Abbey of St Paul in the Lavant Valley. These surprise us with their size and amenities, but we have a large living room, a bedroom and a bathroom. Monastic cells are reminiscent of the upholstered furniture in the living room, the comfortable bed and the large wardrobe in the bedroom and the spacious bathroom. We are accommodated in rooms where the monks let their guests spend the night.
In addition, there are pilgrim quarters in another building of the monastery, which are simpler equipped. They are cheaper.
The monastery shop
Before we say goodbye the next day, we visit the monastery shop. Here we can see which products Father Nikolaus produces from the products of the monastery. These include Klostersekt and Klosterwein as well as schnapps from the surrounding fruit. Frater Maximilian tells us goodbye.
Pilgrim ways for a monastery holiday in the Benedictine monastery of St Paul in Lavanttal
Pilgrimages are becoming increasingly popular. St. Paul in Lavanttal has some ways to go:
- The Benedict Trail from St. Paul to Sentjanz pri Dravogradu (Slovenia)
- The Benedictweg from Wolfsberg to St. Paul
- On the Romweg from St. Andrä via St. Paul to Völkermarkt
What you need for a pilgrimage
- Comfortable hiking boots You should definitely wear, because some of the trails are long and often lead uphill over long distances.
- A backpack Do you need to take drinks and a snack for a picnic on the way? In it you can also accommodate your jacket, if it is too hot.
- Think of one Raincover on the go. The weather can change quickly on longer hikes in the mountains.
- The same goes for one sun hat, During hikes you are often exposed to the sun for a long time.
- Check with our Hiking checklistwhether you have packed everything you need for your hike.
A monastery holiday in the Benedictine monastery of St Paul in Lavanttal is a relaxing and varied experience. Anyone who gets involved in the way of life of the monks, gets interesting insights into the life behind monastery walls. The only thing we regret is that we did not meet Father Nicholas in person. Instead, we were allowed to taste his delicious food, heard about what he made of the fruit and the wine of the monastery. However, a meeting did not materialize because he had other obligations. A reason to once again visit the St Paul Abbey? In any case.
If you want to experience a monastery holiday in the Benedictine monastery of St Paul in the Lavanttal, you turn to Frater Maximilian:
Main Street 1
9470 St. Paul in Lavanttal
(T) +43 4357 2019-54
More Slow Travel Destinations and Experiences in Carinthia:
- Heiligenkreuz Abbey and Mayerling Castle for connoisseurs
- Lilienfeld Abbey - Abbey library, monastery and gallery
- The Weissensee in Carinthia - a real insider tip in Austria
- You can rent a Top Restaurant Weissensee Carinthia - Which kitchen do you prefer?
- The legendary Gold of the Tauern
- Hohe Tauern by car - the Grossglockner High Alpine Road
- Monastery Wernberg Carinthia - from Brennesselschloss to guest monastery
- Discover Carinthia specialties during holidays in the Gailtal and Lesachtal
We would like to thank Father Maximilian for the friendly welcome in the St. Paul's Abbey in Lavanttal, Our heartfelt thanks go to Frater Maximilian, who brought us closer to the cultural treasures of the monastery. And we thank you Klösterreich for the invitation to this interesting blogger trip to the treasury of Carinthia.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Videos: © Copyright Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the publishers of the Trips to Savor and Slow Travel Blog TravelWorldOnline Traveler , They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline is online since 2001.
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Monika Fuchs has been working in tourism since 1990. She has been a tour guide on four continents for 17 years and has accompanied high-class trips through North and Central America, Australia, southern Africa and Europe. Since 2001 she has been a writer and photographer for TravelWorldOnline and writes as a freelance journalist for DIE ZEIT Online and travel magazines such as 360 ° Medien, TRIVAGO, Expedia, travador, etc. She also writes travel guides about destinations and enjoyment destinations all over the world. Your guide about Canada's east was released in 2020. Petar Fuchs produced the videos on this blog as well YouTube.
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