Elane Burbank

Elane Burbank

Modified & Updated: 11 Oct 2023

Source: Arkansaslivingmagazine.com

Subiaco Abbey, located in the heart of the picturesque Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, is an enchanting destination that has captivated visitors from all around the world. With its rich history and stunning architecture, the abbey holds many extraordinary facts that make it a truly unique place to explore. From its establishment in 1878 to its present-day significance, Subiaco Abbey has carved a niche for itself in the realm of landmarks. In this article, we will delve into 19 extraordinary facts about Subiaco Abbey that will leave you intrigued and inspired. So, get ready to discover the hidden gems of this remarkable landmark as we take you on a journey through time and history.

Table of Contents

The Oldest Benedictine Monastery in the United States

Subiaco Abbey, located in Arkansas, holds the distinction of being the oldest Benedictine monastery in the United States. Founded in 1878, it has stood as a symbol of faith and spiritual retreat for over 140 years. This historic establishment continues to serve as a place of worship, education, and community for those seeking solace and inspiration.

A Haven of Tranquility and Natural Beauty

Nestled amidst the picturesque Ouachita Mountains, Subiaco Abbey offers visitors a serene environment filled with natural beauty. Surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills, this sacred place provides a peaceful atmosphere conducive to meditation, reflection, and contemplation.

An Architectural Marvel

The abbey’s impressive architecture is a sight to behold. With its grand stone facade, towering spires, and intricate details, it showcases the remarkable craftsmanship of the past. The blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles creates a unique and captivating visual experience for all who visit.

A Rich History of Education

Subiaco Abbey has a long-standing tradition of education, dating back to its early years. The abbey’s school, Subiaco Academy, was established in 1887 and continues to provide a quality education to this day. With a focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, and leadership, the academy has nurtured countless young minds over the years.

The Home of Talented Artists and Musicians

Throughout its history, Subiaco Abbey has been a haven for artists and musicians. The monks and students of the abbey have produced beautiful works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and music that inspire and uplift the soul. Their creativity and talent continue to enrich the abbey’s vibrant cultural heritage.

A Place of Pilgrimage

Subiaco Abbey attracts pilgrims from near and far who seek spiritual enlightenment and a deeper connection with their faith. The abbey’s peaceful surroundings, sacred spaces, and welcoming community create an ideal environment for individuals embarking on a spiritual journey.

Home to an Exceptional Library

The abbey houses an extraordinary library that boasts a vast collection of books, manuscripts, and historical documents. A haven for scholars and researchers, this treasure trove of knowledge offers a glimpse into the past and allows for a deeper understanding of the world and its complexities.

A Center for Gregorian Chant

Subiaco Abbey is renowned for its tradition of Gregorian chant. The monks’ melodic voices fill the halls of the abbey, creating an ethereal and captivating ambiance. The timeless beauty of this sacred music adds to the overall spiritual experience of those who visit.

A Welcoming Retreat Center

The abbey serves as a retreat center, providing individuals with the opportunity to escape the fast-paced world and find solace in a tranquil setting. Retreatants can participate in spiritual retreats, workshops, and guided meditation sessions, allowing them to recharge and reconnect with their inner selves.

A Haven for Nature Enthusiasts

Surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes, Subiaco Abbey offers a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts. The abbey’s grounds provide ample opportunities for hiking, exploring, and immersing oneself in the beauty of nature. From colorful wildflowers to cascading waterfalls, there is always something to marvel at.

A Place of Pilgrimage

Subiaco Abbey attracts pilgrims from near and far who seek spiritual enlightenment and a deeper connection with their faith. The abbey’s peaceful surroundings, sacred spaces, and welcoming community create an ideal environment for individuals embarking on a spiritual journey.

A Community of Hospitality and Compassion

The monks of Subiaco Abbey are known for their warm hospitality and compassionate nature. They welcome visitors from all walks of life, providing a place of refuge and support. The sense of community and belonging that one experiences at the abbey is truly extraordinary.

A Place for Reflection and Meditation

Subiaco Abbey offers tranquil spaces for prayer, reflection, and meditation. Whether it is the peaceful gardens, the quiet chapel, or the scenic viewpoints, each spot invites visitors to find inner peace and seek spiritual solace.

A Living Testament to Benedictine Traditions

Subiaco Abbey upholds the timeless Benedictine traditions, which emphasize a balance between work, prayer, and community. The monks’ dedication to this way of life is evident in their daily routines, commitment to service, and devotion to spiritual growth.

An Iconic Landmark in Arkansas

Subiaco Abbey is considered an iconic landmark in the state of Arkansas. Its architectural grandeur, historical significance, and spiritual presence make it a cherished symbol of faith, culture, and heritage.

A Center for Monastic Formation

As a Benedictine monastery, Subiaco Abbey serves as a center for monastic formation. The abbey welcomes those who feel called to a life of prayer, contemplation, and selfless service. Through the guidance of experienced monks, individuals can embark on a transformative journey of spiritual growth.

A Testament to Perseverance and Resilience

Throughout its long history, Subiaco Abbey has faced challenges and trials but has consistently demonstrated perseverance and resilience. Its endurance through the years is a testament to the strength of its community and the unwavering power of faith.

A Place for Weddings and Special Celebrations

Subiaco Abbey offers a magical backdrop for weddings and special celebrations. The stunning architecture, serene surroundings, and rich history create a truly unforgettable setting for life’s most cherished moments.

A Sanctuary of Hope and Healing

For those seeking solace and healing, Subiaco Abbey provides a sanctuary of hope. The peaceful atmosphere, prayerful environment, and compassionate support offered by the community provide a source of comfort and strength.


In conclusion, Subiaco Abbey is a truly extraordinary landmark with a fascinating history and remarkable features. From its stunning architecture to its serene surroundings, there is no doubt that this abbey is a must-visit destination. Whether you are interested in exploring the rich spiritual and cultural heritage or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Subiaco Abbey has something to offer everyone. So, plan your visit and immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of this magnificent landmark.


1. What is the history of Subiaco Abbey?

Subiaco Abbey was founded in 1878 by a group of Benedictine monks from Switzerland. It has a rich history that dates back over a century and continues to be a place of spiritual significance.

2. Can visitors explore the abbey?

Yes, visitors are welcome to explore certain areas of the abbey, including the church, museum, and beautiful gardens. However, some areas may be restricted for the monks’ privacy and safety.

3. Are there any guided tours available?

Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who wish to have a more in-depth understanding of Subiaco Abbey’s history and significance. These tours offer insights into the abbey’s architecture, religious artifacts, and daily life of the monks.

4. Is there a dress code for visiting the abbey?

While there is no specific dress code, it is recommended to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting any religious site. It is also advised to wear comfortable shoes as there might be some walking involved.

5. Are there any accommodations available for overnight stays?

Yes, Subiaco Abbey offers accommodations for retreats and spiritual retreats. These facilities provide a peaceful and serene environment for individuals or groups seeking a quiet and reflective experience.

6. Can visitors attend religious services at the abbey?

Yes, visitors are welcome to attend the daily Mass and other religious services held at the abbey. It’s a great opportunity to experience the spiritual ambiance and join in the worship.

7. Are there any nearby attractions to visit after exploring Subiaco Abbey?

Absolutely! Subiaco Abbey is situated in a beautiful location surrounded by natural beauty. There are hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and other historic landmarks in the area that visitors can explore.

8. Is Subiaco Abbey accessible for people with disabilities?

Efforts have been made to make Subiaco Abbey as accessible as possible. However, due to its historical nature, some areas may have limitations for wheelchair access. It is best to contact the abbey in advance if there are specific accessibility concerns.