Friday, June 18, 2010

Out and About - Heiligenkreuz

For the last stop on our day trip, we visited the Cistercian monastery at Heiligenkreuz. The monastery is one of the oldest Cistercian monasteries in the world, having been in continuous use since the 12th century. It is also famous for being home to a piece of Jesus' cross. Finally, the monastery is notable for the musical talents of the monks that inhabit it. They released a CD of Gregorian chants recently that did very well in Europe, and gave the monks a certain amount of celebrity (you can read an article about it from the London Times).

The courtyard, featuring a large Baroque fountain.

Close-up of the fountain. It is notable in that it shows Joseph and Jesus, as opposed to the much more common depiction of Mary and Jesus.

Ornately carved choir stalls.

Beautiful 13th-century stained glass window in the church.
A courtyard inside the cloisters, with a large bush of some kind.

Hallway inside the cloisters. Natasha, Janice, and Sam are in the foreground.

Stained-glass window in the cloisters, depicting the Babenberger family history. The Babenbergers founded the monastery, and were influential in its development. Note the figure second from the bottom, on the left, who is in a white monk's robes. This is Otto von Freising, a Cistercian monk who helped start the monastery.

Sam, Tessa and Willem playing outside the monastery restaurant. We enjoyed an excellent dinner there after our tour -- Dave had wild venison, and Natasha went for the fish.

Up next: Visiting an Art Nouveau church

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