St Peters Abbey is a Benedictine monastery and was a former cathedral. It is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in the German speaking countries. It has been in continuous use since its foundation in 696. The present day abbey church is in the Romanesque style and was erected in the 12th century. Attached to the monestery is the famous Cemetery of Sainkt Peter.
Stiftskeller St. Peter
To the right of the abbey is the StiftsKeller St Peter which has been serving food since 803!. It is claimed to be the oldest restaurant in Europe. It is here that they hold the celebrated Mozart Dinner Concerts where musicians in period dress serenade you whilst you dine. At Christmas time go for a Glüwein in the courtyard hewn from the rock of the Münchsberg for a truly magical experience.
St Peter’s Cemetery
If you go through the tunnel between the abbey and StiftsKeller you will come into the cemetery (Petersfriedhof). This was probably laid out during the foundation of the monastery in about 700. The oldest graves date to the 13th century. At the centre of the cemetery is St Margaret’s Chapel and the Chapel of the Cross dedicated about 1170. It was refurbished as a mausoleum in 1615.
Around the edge of the cemetery you will find the arcades of tombs, some cut into the hillside. Here you will find the tombs of Maria Anna Mozart (Nannerl, Wolfgang’s sister) and the composer Johann Haydn. These tombs were the inspiration for the scene in the Sound of Music when they were hiding from the Germans.
Also in the cemetery are the Catacombs. These are carved out of the rock face and were probably constructed between 300 and 600AD and served as an early Christian place of assembly and hermitage.
Cemetery Opening Times:
April to September: 06:30 to 20:00, October to March: 06:30 to 18:00
Catacombs Opening Times:
May to September: 10:00 to 12:30 and 13:00 to 18:00. October to April: 10:00 to 12:30 and 13:00 to 17:00