Heiligenkreuz Abbey

Date of Submission: 01/08/1994
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
State, Province or Region:
Lower Austria
Ref.: 30


There are only few monasteries in Europe that have maintained their monastic tradition continually from the 12th century to our times and also the respective buildings in both their functional and representative purposes. Heiligenkreuz is an outstanding example of this continuity embodied in the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque components of the monastery premises where the typical features of a medieval Cistercian monastery are reflected as impressively as the architectural history and development of a structure that has grown since medieval times and incorporated examples of all later epochs. The fact that the monastic function has also been fully maintained, i.e. the medieval monastery structures are still used in the way originally intended, and thus are appropriately preserved, illustrates the full dimension of the spiritual,but also of the historical, artistic and cultural importance of such a place. The medieval parts of the monastery complex (church,cloister,living quarters) which are of exceptional value in terms of architectural history and house, inter alia, top examples of medieval glass paintings,are enriched by Baroque additions to interiors and furniture, and also feature an extensive library and collection of atr treasures. Heiligenkreuz is a synonym for monastic tradition and its responsibility for the historic heritage.