The Augustinian Monastery of Novacella in the Valle Isarco valley is one of the most important monasteries in the entire Tyrolean region.
Image gallery: Novacella Abbey
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One of the most important monasteries in the Tyrolean area and today one of the 12 destinations of the Culturronda, a South Tyrolean cultural course, is located in Novacella near Varna, about 3 km north of Bressanone. Its foundation dates back to the 12th century and Hartmann von Brixen, then Bishop of Bressanone. In addition to the Novacella Abbey - "Kloster Neustift" in German, "Abbazia di Novacella" in Italian -, which was then built near the bishop's town but in a lonely place, a hospital was also founded. Until its dissolution in the 15th or 16th century, travellers, pilgrims, the sick and the poor were cared for there.
Under Napoleon, Tyrol's monasteries were also secularised, but monastery operations were resumed in 1816. In WWII it was misused as a supply camp and partly destroyed, but since 1949 the Novacella Abbey shines again in its Baroque splendour and is widely known as a sight. Augustinian monks still live in the monastery, which also houses a winery, an education centre and a hostel for students. Famous is the Baroque Collegiate Church of Our Lady, a Basilica minor with beautiful frescoes and rocaille stucco. The cloister with its Gothic ribbed vault and valuable late Gothic frescoes by Michael Pacher as well as the historic garden adjoin the basilica.
Also worth seeing are the magnificent library with its valuable collection of handwritings and the pinacotheca with the remarkable collection of Gothic panel painting. In 2020-21, the so-called "Chinese Cabinet", an antechamber to the library room, was brought to light and can be admired during a visit. The restoration of the Chinese paintings and medallions with exotic birds, which were particularly popular in the 18th century, will be completed during the summer of 2021. And how to reach the Novacella Abbey? The complex is located about 3 km from Bressanone. A free parking awaits you at the entrance to the monastery grounds. Unfortunately dogs are not allowed!
abbey visit (museum, cloister, church, library):
€ 10.00 museum with guide
€ 8.00 museum without guide
€ 8.00 groups (10 and more persons)
€ 4.00 children and students (6-17 years)
vineyard visit with wine tasting (4 handcrafted wines):
€ 15.00 tasting included
garden visit (arboretum, herb garden, Baroque garden):
€ 4.00 adults
€ 2.00 children and students (6-17 years)
digital visit "art, culture and history" (in German or Italian language, via Zoom):
€ 40.00 about 1 hour
guided abbey tour: Monday to Friday at 11 am and 2.30 pm, Saturdays at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm
guided vineyard tour with wine tasting: Monday to Friday at 4 pm, Saturdays at 10 am
The guided tours are held in German and/or Italian language. Museum, cloister, church and library can be visited also without guide during the opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. The historic abbey garden is accessible without guide during the summer months (entrance fee).