Heiligenkreuz, Lower Austria, municipality in the district of Baden, alt. 312 m, pop. 1,324 (1981: pop. 1,105), area 29.52 km2, summer holiday resort and popular destination for day trips in the southern Vienna Woods, situated south-west of Moedling in the local landscape conservation area. - Gypsum mining (in Preinsfeld), restaurant and hotel business. - Second-oldest Cistercian monastery in Austria, founded by Margrave Leopold III in 1133, its name is derived from a particle of the Holy Cross from Palestine, given to the monastery by Leopold; Heiligenkreuz Monastery is the mother monastery of the monasteries of Zwettl (1138), Baumgartenberg (1142), Marienberg (1197), Lilienfeld (1202), etc. In 1881 Neukloster Abbey in Wiener Neustadt was united with Heiligenkreuz. In 1954 Heiligenkreuz set up a convent in Moenchhof (Burgenland) for the Cistercian nuns from Landshut. In 1999 the monastery had 53 members, 17 affiliated parishes and one theological academy (founded 1802). Romanesque nave (vaulted construction) of the collegiate church (consecrated 1187) preserved; Romanesque façade, cross aisle (from the 13th century with earliest ribbed vault, with massive intersecting ribs, in Austria), impressive hall choir (consecrated 1295, a masterpiece of Austrian Gothic), cloister (1220-1240); re-Gothicised in the 19th century; neo-Gothic high altar (1887), Baroque altar painting by J. M. Rottmayr (1696), choir stalls (1707) by Giovanni Giuliani; nonagonal well-house with glass paintings of members of the Babenberg family (1290) and lead fountain from the 16th century. In the late-Romanesque chapter room, tombs of the Babenbergs Leopold IV, Leopold V, Friedrich I and Friedrich II; early-Gothic dormitory; Baroque construction phase of the monastery from 1641, finished in 1662. Rebuilt after its destruction in 1683. In the early-Baroque courtyard, Trinity column (1736-39) and Josefsbrunnen fountain by Giuliani (1739). Important library; Calvary (1731-50) off the monastery grounds.
Literature#H. Watzl, Das Stift Heiligenkreuz, 1967; Cistercienserkloster Heiligenkreuz (ed.), Das Cistercienserkloster Heiligenkreuz, 1984; P. Senekovic (ed.), Heiligenkreuz im Wienerwald, 1984.