Between the Wechsel massif and its slopes to the north and the Masenberg to the south, Stift Vorau is the only remaining Augustinian canonical monastery in Styria
After crossing the avenue of lime trees, the view opens over the inviting one hectare monastery courtyard to the more than 100 meter wide facade of the present monastery building, which was richly decorated around 1735 with a discreet piece of the slightly back to the center. Vorau Abbey presents itself as a unified Baroque abbey where the tradition of monastic life of over 800 years tries to combine with the needs of the present in the church and in the world.
Stift Vorau History
The monastery was founded in 1163 by the Margrave Ottokar III as a sign of gratitude for the birth of his son and heir. The monastery was built by Archbishop Eberhard I of Salzburg. He had also sent the first monks from his monastery of St. Rupert to Vorau. Due to its location between the Wechsel in the north, the Masenberg in the south and the proximity to the eastern border of Styria, Vorau has always been a very turbulent area. The monastery and its land had been threatened almost constantly by the Hungarian, Slovenian and Turkish invasions.
As a result of this constant threat, the monastery was protected by many defense towers, a moat and the iron bars at the entrance gate that you can still see today. Especially in the 15th century, the people who lived in the surrounding area found protection within the monastery walls. Today the Vorau Monastery has 15 towers, more than any other monastery in Austria.
In April 1940 the monastery was confiscated by the NS regime. So the monks were forced to leave. In 1945, when the Russian army occupied the Eastern Styria area, the monastery was bombed and about 50% of the monastery was destroyed. The most affected were agricultural buildings. About 5000 books were stolen from the library and all collections were badly damaged. The church itself has remained intact. In May 1945 the first monks returned to the monastery. Today the main task of the monks is counseling.
The church in its present aspect was built between 1660 and 1662 by Domenico Sciassia. The interior decoration of the church with all its frescoes and picturesque decorations was finished in 1750. The church has a length of 62 meters and is 17 meters high.
Above the side chapels there are frescoes of Old Testament prophets announcing the kingdom of God.
The depictions in the side chapels show scenes from the life of Jesus. Beginning with the birth and ending with him being taken down from the cross.
The content of the third argument is the completion of the kingdom of god by Jesus. It then shows the continuation of the life of Christ in the church and in the life of the saints.
The dominant colors in the church are blue and gold.
Today the monastery is not only used by monks. There is a home science school (home economics), an adult education center, a tavern, and some private family apartments. Above the front door of the church is a Latin inscription that stands for: "This is the house of God where the name of the Lord is invoked".