The Heiligenkreuz abbey (German for Holy Cross) is a Cistercian abbey in the town of Heiligenkreuz, in the Viennese forest near Vienna in Austria.
Stift Heiligenkreuz History
It was consecrated on 11 September 1133, wanted by the Margrave of Austria Leopoldo III at the request of his son Ottone who was Cistercian abbot of Morimondo. It is the second oldest Cistercian abbey in Austria, preceded by that of Rein.
In 1188, Duke Leopoldo V gave the abbey a fragment of the True Cross still present and since 1983 it has been exhibited in the chapel of the Holy Cross.
The church has a facade, typical of the Cistercian style, very austere and with only three windows to recall the Holy Trinity, in Romanesque style such as the transept and the nave (one of the highest examples of Romanesque in Austria). The choir built in the thirteenth century is in the Gothic style. The initial construction did not have a bell tower, it was added in the 16th century in Baroque style.
In the years 1668-1669 the sacristy was decorated with frescoes by Carpoforo Tencalla da Bissone.
In the courtyard located in front of the entrance to the church there is a column called the Holy Trinity in Baroque style, from 1739, built on a project by Giovanni Giuliani.