St. Peter´s Abbey 1 © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH

St. Peter's Abbey

The oldest district of Salzburg

Explore St. Peter’s Abbey in Salzburg and get to know its many interesting features!

Founded in 696, St. Peter’s Abbey in Salzburg is the oldest monastery in the German-speaking area. St. Peter’s abbey church, St. Peter’s cemetery, Austria’s oldest library, the oldest restaurant in central Europe and many other highlights among Salzburg’s sights are all found here. Fans of “The Sound of Music” will recognize the cemetery and its catacombs from the movie. In addition, fans of Mozart can look forward to musical and culinary pleasures at the Mozart Dinner Concerts hosted at St. Peter’s.

History of St. Peter’s Abbey

Archabbey St. Peter is the oldest monastery in the German-speaking area. It was founded in 696 by Bishop Rupert of Worms as a monastery with the purpose of proselytizing the area. St. Peter’s abbey church (colloquially known as “Peter’s church”) is the oldest bishopric church of the Salzburg archdiocese. Archeological finds beneath the altar of the church indicate that even earlier, a church must have existed in the same spot. Until 1110, St. Peter’s Abbey was the residence of Salzburg’s archbishop.

During the Middle Ages, St. Peter’s Abbey was known for its outstanding scriptorium and writing school. Additionally, it is the mother monastery of the Benedictine Abbey Admont in Styria.

In 1622, Archbishop Paris von Lodron ordered the construction of the Benedictine University of Salzburg, which was strongly connected to the abbey until its dissolution in 1810. Abbot Petrus Klotz’s strong calls for a catholic university lead to the foundation of the St. Benedict’s College in 1926, which was the groundwork for the later University of Salzburg. This successful endeavor was honored by promoting the abbey to an archabbey.

During National Socialism, the monks were driven away but the monastery was not disbanded. Thus, the monks returned to the abbey after the war.

The abbey’s buildings suffered from multiple fires throughout its history and was repaired and reconstructed several times during different eras. Today, the complex features elements of the Romanesque and Gothic period, the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo.

St. Peter’s Cemetery

The cemetery of St. Peter’s Abbey in Salzburg is among the most beautiful and oldest cemeteries in the world. Along with the cemetery at Nonnberg Abbey, St. Peter’s Cemetery is the oldest Christian burial ground in Salzburg.

Hewn into the side of the fortress mountain are catacombs. Despite being referred to as “catacombs” this feature of the cemetery was not primarily used as graves but rather as early Christian gathering places. Both Mozart’s sister Nannerl and the composer Michael Haydn were buried in the so-called “Commune crypt” in the early 19th century. Other famous artists, academics, merchants and people of prominence that are buried at St. Peter’s cemetery include, for example, Sigmund Haffner, Johann Georg Hagenauer, Otto Pflanzl, Santino Solari, Josef Thorak, Franz Wasner, Clemens Holzmeister, Wilhelm Wolf, and many others.

The elaborate wrought iron crucifixes and centuries-old stone gravestones are especially worth seeing.

St. Peter’s Abbey and The Sound of Music

Fans of The Sound of Music are certainly very familiar with the sight of St. Peter’s Abbey and its cemetery and catacombs. Before the von Trapp family escaped to Switzerland from the national socialists, they hid in the cemetery and its caverns.

Austria’s oldest library

St. Peter’s Abbey houses the oldest library in Austria. More than 100,000 volumes are on its shelves, focusing on Benedictine monasticism, medieval church history, art history and books about the local history of Salzburg – the Salisburgensia. In 1768, the Zellenbibilothek was re-designed in the Rococo style at the behest of Abbot Beda Seeauer. In 1999, it was restored. The library is not open to the public can only be accessed with special permission.

Events at St. Peter’s Abbey

The Romanesque Hall at St. Peter’s Abbey served as a dining hall for the monks in the Middle Ages. Because of its atmospheric ambience, today the hall is often venue for concerts and events.

Mozart Dinner Concerts are hosted at the Baroque Hall at St. Peter Stiftskulinarium restaurant. Travel back to 1790 for a historic evening and enjoy a concert and dinner how it might have taken place during Mozart’s time. Listen to famous arias and duets from Mozart’s operas “The Magic Flute”, “Don Giovanni” and others, between the courses of the Mozart menu. Opera singers and an ensemble of musicians perform live during the dinner concert.

The abbey church has also been a venue during the Salzburg Festival several times.

St. Peter Stiftskulinarium restaurant – Europe’s oldest inn

The restaurant St. Peter Stiftskulinarium was first mentioned in a document in 803, making it the oldest inn of central Europe. It is an award-winning restaurant whose history-steeped atmosphere with a modern touch provides an exceptional fine dining experience and Austrian cuisine of the highest quality.

Besides the St. Peter Stiftskulinarium, Haus St. Benedikt is also part of the hospitality services of Archabbey St. Peter. This bed and breakfast inn offers modern and comfortable rooms that are conveniently located within walking distance of many of Salzburg’s sights, museums, Salzburg Festival venues, restaurants, etc.

St. Peter’s Abbey Bakery

The bakery that is part of St. Peter’s Abbey dates back to the 12th century, making it Salzburg’s oldest bakery. Back then, a tunnel was built through the Mönchsberg – the “Almkanal” – to supply the city with water. At the end of the channel, a grain mill and bakery were built as part of St. Peter’s Abbey. The bakery still exists today where the much-loved bread is baked in the original wood-fired oven.

St. Peter´s Abbey 2 © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
© Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
Stiftsbaeckerei St. Peter 2 © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
© Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
St. Peter´s Abbey 4 © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
© Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
St. Peter´s Abbey 1 © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
© Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
St. Peter´s Abbey 3 © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
© Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
Stiftsbaeckerei St. Peter © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
© Tourismus Salzburg GmbH

FAQs St. Peter's Abbey Salzburg

St. Peter’s Abbey is located between the Salzburg Festival Halls and the Salzburg Cathedral.

Erzabtei Stift St. Peter Salzburg
St. Peter-Bezirk 1
5020 Salzburg

St. Peter’s Abbey and its cemetery and catacombs are certainly familiar to fans of The Sound of Music. Before the von Trapp family managed to escape from the National Socialists, they hid in the cemetery and rock caves.

Visit the original filming locations of The Sound of music on the Original Sound of Music Tour® with Salzburg Panorama Tours.

The following areas of the St. Peter’s Archabbey can be visited for a small admission fee:

  • Catacombs:
    May to September: daily, 10.00 am to 12.30 pm, 1.00 pm to 6.00 pm
    October to April: daily, 10.00 am to 12.30 pm, 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm
  • St. Peter’s church:
    Daily, 8.00 am to 12.00 pm, 2.30 pm to 6.30 pm (no sightseeing during services)
  • St. Peter’s cemetery
    April to September: daily, 6.30 am to 7.00 pm
    October to March: daily 6.30 am to 6.00 pm

(Subject to alteration)

Use the Salzburg Card for free admission.

Upon request, group or school tours of the catacombs, the abbey church and parts of the cloistered courtyard are available. Tours for individuals are not possible.

A virtual tour of the abbey is available online.



  • 5.45 am: Vigil and Lauds
  • 7.00 am: Mass
  • 12.15 pm: Midday prayer (11.45 am on Saturdays)
  • 5.00 pm: Rosary
  • 6.30 pm: Vespers (6.00 pm on Saturdays)
  • 7.45 pm: Compline


  • 6.45 am: Vigil and Lauds
  • 10.15 am: Mass
  • 11.45 am: Midday prayer
  • 5.00 pm: Rosary
  • 6.00 pm: Chorale vespers
  • 7.45 pm: Compline

(Subject to alterations)