Monastery of St. Peter, Salzburg

Rupert, a Franconian missionary, came to Salzburg, the former Roman Juvavum, around 700 and founded St. Peter’s Church and a monastery, still extant as the oldest community of monks on German soil.

monastery of St Peter in Juvavum

Architectural history

Salzburg was raised to the status of an archbishopric under Archbishop Arno, a friend of Charlemagne’s. The church and buildings were entirely burned down in May 1127. Abbot Balderich had a three-aisled Roman basilica built between 1130 and 1143. The church and monastery district were modified several times in the following years.
St. Veit’s Chapel, built in 1319, is one of the oldest Gothic buildings in Salzburg.

The magnificent Romanesque portal dates back to 1240. The chapel was converted to the rococo style during the 18th century under the bustling and art-loving abbot, Beda Seeauer. Archabbot Petrus Klotz founded the Collegium Benedictinum featuring façade frescoes by Anton Faistauer in the first half of the 20th century.

Architecture and interior

Romanesque architecture is even more distinct inside St. Peter’s Church. The large number of altars display the church’s rococo design. Several altar paintings were created by Martin Johann Schmidt, also known as «Kremser Schmidt», one of the most famous devotional and altarpiece painters of the 18th century.

Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich donated the two gigantic Renaissance candlesticks of bronze dating back to 1609. One of the chapels in the south aisle contains the memorial for Johann Michael Haydn, a marble plaque for Mozart’s sister, Nannerl, and the tomb of Field Marshal General Hans Werner von Raitenau, Wolf Dietrich’s father.

The Long Gallery at St. Peter’s Monastery

St. Peter’s Abbey had the building on the southern side of Cathedral Square constructed under Abbot Amand Pachler from 1657−1661 at the request of Archbishop Guidobald Graf Thun. The title to the new building was divided between them: the cellar and main floor belonged to the archbishop, the other rooms to the abbey. The main floor, where you are now standing, became the archbishops picture gallery.

St. Peter's Abbey

The design of the «Lange Galerie bey Hof» was developed in Italy during the 16th century: a long corridor with windows on one side and a continuous wall for paintings on the opposite side. All of the windows face north, allowing the paintings to be seen in an even, but not direct light. The Long Gallery is one of the earliest buildings of its kind north of the Alps.

The archbishops' collection of paintings included works by Peter Paul Rubens, Johann Heinrich Schönfeld and other notable artists. It was closed down at the end of the archbishops' reign in 1803 and most of the paintings were moved to Vienna. The room itself was conveyed to St. Peter’s Abbey in 1819.

St. Peter’s Monastery had the Long Gallery renovated extensively from 2001 to 2009. The gallery can now be accessed by the public through the Cathedral Museum. Seventeen of the Monastery’s large-size, religious paintings are on display.

St. Peter’s Monastery

Notable personalities were among the monks who lived in St. Peter’s Monastery. A vast number of achievements bear witness to the scholarliness and industriousness of the medieval monks. The construction of the Alm Channel, cutting a tunnel through the Mönchsberg, was one of the masterstrokes of their time. Many monks taught at the university founded in 1622 and music and theater were continuously cultivated in St. Peter’s.

Thirteen-year-old Mozart composed the Dominic us Mass in 1769 for the later Abbot Hagen Auer and conducted his famous Mass in C minor in the church in 1783. Johann Michael Haydn wrote the Rupert Mass for St. Peter’s in 1782.

St. Peter’s Cemetery

St. Peter’s Cemetery

St. Peter’s Cemetery with its unique ambiance is one of the oldest and most beautiful cemeteries in the world. It is the final resting place for a number of famous personalities, artists, scholars and businessmen: Sanction Solaria (architect and builder of Salzburg Cathedral), Mannerly Mozart (Mozart's sister), Lorenz Hagen Auer (the Mozart family’s landlord and friend), Michael Haydn (composer and Joseph Haydn’s younger brother), Paul Hofhaimer (organist and composer), Sigmund Haffner (alderman and mayor, friend of the Mozart family, Haffner Serenade and Haffner Symphony by Mozart), Richard Mayr (opera singer, first «Ochs von Lerchenau» in the Salzburg Festival’s Rosenkavalier), Harry Collins (last commander of the American occupying forces who later lived in Salzburg, one of the city’s honorary citizens).

The Catacombs

The Catacombs, hewn out of the Mönchsberg rock, are one of the special attractions in St. Peter’s Cemetery and open all year round.

The Catacombs

They are said to be of early Christian origin. St. Gertrude’s Chapel and the Maximus Chapel are also worth seeing.

Events at St. Peter’s Monastery

The Baroque Hall in St. Peter’s Monastery Cellar and the Romanesque Hall are used regularly for concerts such as the «Mozart Dinner Concert» and the «Mozart Piano Sonatas».

Abbey Church of St. Peter

Daily 8 am-noon and 2:30 pm-6:30 pm No visits during mass!

St. Peter Cemetery

summer 6:30 am-7 pm (winter 6:30 am-5:30 pm)


Opening hours 2015:
May-September: daily 10 am-6 pm October-April: daily 10 am-5 pm December 8: 10 am — 5 pm December 24−27: closed
December 28−30: 10 am — 5 pm Dec. 31, 2015+Jan.1, 2016: closed
January 2−6, 2016: 10 am — 5 pm Admission fees 2015:
Adults € 2.00
Children (6−16 years) € 1.50
Youths (16−18 years), students, senior citizens, groups of 10 adults or more € 1.50
School classes € 1.00
One time free admission with the Salzburg Card!


Abbey Church of St. Peter:
Daily 8 am-noon and 2:30 pm-6:30 pm No visits during mass!

St. Peter Cemetery:
summer 6:30 am-7 pm (winter 6:30 am-5:30 pm)

Opening hours 2016:
May-September: daily 10 am-6 pm, October-April: daily 10 am-5 pm Closed: Jan. 1, Dec. 24−27, Dec. 31
Alterations possible, please see notice

Admission fees 2016:
Adults € 2.00
Children (6−15 years) € 1.50
Youths (16−18 years), students, senior citizens, groups of 10 adults or more € 1.50
School classes € 1.00
SalzburgCard: one time free admission

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