Castle Schönbühel

Castle, Monastery / abbey


Das Kloster liegt mit seinem landschaftsbezogenen Bau malerisch am Eingang der Wachau hoch über der Donau.

Schönbühel, the former Servite monastery, was founded by a pious noble family who converted to Catholicism in the 1600s. They wished to replicate the event of salvation that had unfolded in Israel, with Golgotha, the Entombment of Christ and the birthplace of Jesus in an “underground Bethlehem”. The monastery became large and well-known as a pilgrimage site, to which believers descended to seek help or forgiveness from Saint Rosalia, patron saint of the plague. Following church reforms during the reign of Joseph II, the number of people taking part in pilgrimages reduced, leading the monastery to finally close in 1980 due to a shortage of new people joining the community. The original depiction of the Flight from Egypt and particularly the Peregrine chapel with frescoes by the famous Baroque painter Johann Bergl are worth visiting. Take the steps carved into the mountain down to the birth grotto with the depiction of the birth of Christ, which recreates the event in Bethlehem. A flight of stairs leads to the river, which seafarers used to ascend to enter the church to pray.

Location and how to get there