Annmaria Mellon

Annmaria Mellon

Published: 21 Sep 2023


Lilienfeld Abbey is a captivating landmark nestled in the picturesque town of Lilienfeld, Austria. With its rich history and stunning architecture, it is no wonder that this abbey attracts visitors from all corners of the globe. From its origins as a Cistercian monastery in the 12th century to its transformation into a Gothic masterpiece, Lilienfeld Abbey has a story to tell.

In this article, we will delve into 14 fascinating facts about Lilienfeld Abbey that will deepen your appreciation for this remarkable landmark. From its famous inhabitants to its impressive library and intricate frescoes, each fact will paint a vivid picture of the abbey’s past and present. So prepare to be enchanted by the secrets that lie within the walls of Lilienfeld Abbey.

Table of Contents

The Oldest Cistercian Monastery in Austria

Lilienfeld Abbey, located in Lower Austria, is the oldest Cistercian monastery in Austria. It was founded in 1202 by Leopold VI, Duke of Austria, and his wife Agnes of Germany.

A Remarkable Architectural Marvel

The abbey boasts stunning architectural design, blending Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles. Its impressive structure and intricate details are a testament to the craftsmanship of the medieval era.

Home to a Rich Cultural Heritage

Lilienfeld Abbey has been a center of spiritual, intellectual, and artistic expression for centuries. It houses a vast collection of religious manuscripts, medieval artworks, and historical artifacts.

The Famous “Lilienfelder Antependium”

One of the most treasured possessions of the abbey is the “Lilienfelder Antependium,” an exquisitely embroidered altar frontlet dating back to the 12th century. It is considered a masterpiece of medieval textile art.

The Abbey’s Monastic Library

Lilienfeld Abbey is home to a remarkable monastic library, housing thousands of books, including rare manuscripts and incunabula. Scholars and researchers from around the world visit the library to explore its vast collection.

The Relics of Saints

The abbey houses the relics of several saints, including Saint Coloman, Saint Albert of Cashel, and Saint Leopold III. These relics are revered by pilgrims who visit the abbey seeking spiritual solace.

Magnificent Frescoes and Stained Glass Windows

The interior of Lilienfeld Abbey is adorned with magnificent frescoes and colorful stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes and religious figures. These artistic creations add to the abbey’s grandeur and splendor.

A Peaceful Haven Surrounded by Nature

Lilienfeld Abbey is nestled in a picturesque setting, surrounded by lush green meadows and rolling hills. The serene atmosphere and natural beauty of the surroundings make it an ideal place for reflection and quiet contemplation.

A Place of Pilgrimage

Throughout history, Lilienfeld Abbey has been a destination for pilgrims seeking spiritual enlightenment and divine intervention. The abbey’s tranquil ambiance and spiritual significance attract visitors from near and far.

Hosting Cultural Events and Concerts

The abbey serves as a venue for various cultural events and concerts, showcasing diverse forms of artistic expression. These events not only enrich the local community but also attract tourists interested in experiencing the abbey’s vibrant cultural scene.

A Center for Education and Research

Lilienfeld Abbey houses a school and serves as a center for education and research. It promotes intellectual pursuits and provides a nurturing environment for students and scholars to expand their knowledge.

Resilience Through Wars and Challenges

Over the centuries, Lilienfeld Abbey has faced numerous challenges, including wars and political upheavals. Despite these hardships, the abbey has remained resilient, preserving its cultural heritage and continuing its spiritual mission.

Open to Visitors

Lilienfeld Abbey welcomes visitors who wish to explore its rich history and experience its serene ambiance. Guided tours offer insights into the abbey’s architectural marvels, religious significance, and cultural contributions.

A Place of Spiritual Renewal

For those seeking spiritual renewal and tranquility, Lilienfeld Abbey provides a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. It offers a peaceful retreat where visitors can find solace and immerse themselves in centuries-old traditions.


In conclusion, Lilienfeld Abbey is a remarkable landmark with a rich history and fascinating facts. From being the first Cistercian monastery in Austria to surviving numerous fires and renovations, it holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and tourists. Its stunning architecture, serene surroundings, and spiritual significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in cultural heritage.Whether you’re intrigued by the abbey’s medieval origins, its famous library, or its annual music festival, Lilienfeld Abbey offers something for everyone. Exploring the abbey and its grounds is like stepping back in time and experiencing the tranquility that has endured for centuries.So, the next time you find yourself in Austria, make sure to include Lilienfeld Abbey on your itinerary. You’ll be captivated by its charm and find yourself immersed in the fascinating world of this historic landmark.


1. When was Lilienfeld Abbey founded?
Lilienfeld Abbey was founded in 1202, making it the first Cistercian monastery in Austria.2. What makes Lilienfeld Abbey unique?
Lilienfeld Abbey is known for its well-preserved architecture, including the impressive Romanesque-Gothic church and cloister. It also houses a renowned library with a vast collection of books dating back centuries.3. Can visitors explore the interior of the abbey?
Yes, visitors are welcome to explore the interior of the abbey. Guided tours are available, allowing visitors to learn more about the abbey’s history and admire its stunning architectural features.4. Are there any events or festivals held at Lilienfeld Abbey?
Yes, Lilienfeld Abbey hosts an annual music festival called “Klangraum Lilienfeld.” It showcases a variety of musical performances, ranging from classical to contemporary.5. Is there a gift shop or cafe on the premises?
Yes, there is a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and local products. Additionally, there is a cafe where you can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious meal.