Zwettl Abbey is located in the Waldviertel – Forest Quarter, the northwestern part of Lower Austria.
On the way to the Waldviertel we meet the typical granite rocks of the Bohemian Massif, which contain valuable amethysts and as the forests characterize the landscape.
Rappottenstein Castle, built by the Kuenringer dynasty, lies almost like in the fairytale in the middle of the woods. Despite repeated siege by rebellious smallholders, Belgian troops and the Swedes it was never been taken. Inside, the castle surprises with unexpected luxury of past centuries.
The town of Zwettl as well as Zwettl Abbey were founded by the Kuenring foundation. The Kuenringer family came from Saxony or from Trier and had substantial share in the development of the Waldviertel, which had its starting point in Zwettl. The town had often to suffer from war. Both the Hussitten, the Thirty Years’ War as well as Czech and Swedish troops brought destruction over the country.
The Abbey Church of Zwettl Abbey is complemented by a Gothic-Baroque Cistercian monastery complex, where hundreds of songbirds are nesting in the trees. The Gothic elements are supplemented by elements from Romanesque period and Baroque extensions.
Also well known are the Gothic cloister and the adjacent ornamental gardens with exotic plants.
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