Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg)
A stop outside of Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg) is a staple of The Sound of Music tours of Salzburg, which typically cover major filming locations such as Mirabell Palace and Gardens (Schloss Mirabell und Mirabellgarten); Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn); and the Austrian Lake District. Some tours combine Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg) with Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), a mountaintop chalet that used to belong to Adolf Hitler, and Salzburg Salt Mines (Salzbergwerk)—these excursions typically include round-trip transfers from the city.
Things to know before you go
- Only the main church, gardens, and the cemetery are freely accessible to visitors; all offer great views of Salzburg city below.
- As the convent is inhabited by Benedictine nuns, respectful dress is mandatory and noise must be kept to a minimum.
- The route to Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg) is steep and uneven, which makes it difficult for those with limited mobility to access.
How to get there
Though Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg) is within walking distance of Salzburg Old Town, you can also access it via the funicular that takes you up to Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg). From the fortress, follow signs along a level walkway to Nonnberg Abbey.
When to get there
The public areas of the convent are open to visitors daily from morning until late afternoon, but are closed at the time of worship—check the website for specific service times. Throughout the year, the convent choir holds signing performances to celebrate religious holidays.
Highlights of the Nonnberg Abbey Complex
The abbey’s Gothic main church of Maria Himmelfahrt is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is adorned with stained-glass windows and biblically-themed paintings. Largely rebuilt after a fire in 1423, the church nevertheless retains fragments of its original Byzantine and Romanesque frescoes in the choir. Other must-sees include the frescoes below the Nun’s Gallery and the altar in St. John’s Chapel—access to both of these must be requested on arrival as they are not generally open to the public.
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- Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg)
- Salzburg Marionette Theatre (Marionettentheater)
- Salzburg Old Town (Salzburger Altstadt)
- Panorama Museum
- Michael Haydn Museum
- Salzburg Museum
- Mozart Square (Mozartplatz)
- St. Peter's Abbey (Stift Sankt Peter)
- Salzburg Cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg)
- Cathedral Museum (Dommuseum)
- Georg Trakl Memorial (Traklhouse)
- Residenz Gallery (Residenzgalerie)
- Museum of Modern Art Salzburg Rupertinum (Museum der Moderne Rupertinum)
- Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozarts Geburtshaus)
- Large Festival Hall (Grosses Festspielhaus)