The treasure house of Carinthia in the Benedictine St. Paul monastery. Nestled in the fertile landscape of the lower Lavant Valley St. Paul’s Abbey rises on a cone of rock.
The site where there once stood a Roman fort and later the castle of the Spanheim dynasty was resettled in 1091 by the Benedictine monks from the famous Hirsau Monastery. Its changing history has seen times when it flourished and times of decline. Today one of the most extensive private art collections in Austria is the reason for the still active Abbey’s title of the treasure house of Carinthia.
A tour of the exhibition area starting with the library – which ranks as the most significant in the country alongside the National Library in Vienne – takes you through different epochs of antiquity and early monasticism up to the flowering of the Baroque period. The unique exhibits bring history to life!
The great historical cellars of the abbey building are impressive due to their old stonework and the wide vault. In the crystal dome this fascinating atmosphere is additionally reinforced by multimedia productions which take visitors off into the world of fantasy and astonishment.
Gardens (Baroque garden and herb garden)
The gardens invite visitors to linger and relax. As well as refreshments, the Café Belvedere offers the loveliest view of the whole of the abbey premises.
The Baroque garden illustrates the monks’ horticultural arts, while the herb garden, or “Hildegardium”, presents their knowledge of the cultivation and use of herbs for people’s well-being.
No one should leave St. Paul’s without visiting the impressive medieval basilica dating from the 12th century. The splendour of the architecture with the artful shapes of its capitals, the impressive fresco embellishments and the dignified furnishings create a worthy setting for the house of God.