Vienna, Austria


The Schottenstift (English: Scottish Abbey), formally called Benediktinerabtei unserer Lieben Frau zu den Schotten (English: Benedictine Abbey of Our Dear Lady of the Scots), is a Catholic monastery founded in Vienna in 1155 when Henry II of Austria brought Irish monks to Vienna. The monks did not come directly from Ireland, but came instead from Scots Monastery in Regensburg, Germany. Since 1625, the abbey has been a member of the Austrian Congregation, now within the Benedictine Confederation.

In the early Middle Ages, Irish monks were actively involved in missionary work. Ireland was known in Latin as "Scotia Major"; therefore, in German, Irish monks were called "Schotten" (Scots) or "Iroschotten". The monasteries that they founded were called "Schottenklöster". In the foundation documents of the Schottenstift, Henry II specified that it was to be occupied exclusively by these "Iroschotten" ("Solos elegimus Scottos").

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