There are several statues, fountains and such to see all over the abbey grounds. Most prominent location right in the centre of the large courtyard is a Baroque fountain with trinity column from 1704, a typical catholic work of art. The column in the middle of the octogonal basin has two angels with coats-of-arms of Martha Thanner who was abbess from 1693 - 1709. That's where the guided tours start (pics 1 and 4).
Pic 2 shows a wayside shrine just outside the entrance to the abbey grounds near the Klosterschenke restaurant. Most times I saw it it had beautiful fresh flowers at its foot, so the agave was a remarkable exception :-)
Pic 3 shows a Baroque statue of Mary, flower beds to the sides.
Pic 5 shows the recently created statue of Pope John Paul II.
The old saw mill is still preserved and in pretty good shape. They offer shows and guided tours. On the guided tours you also see the small water power station right next to the mill and learn more about renewable energy - the abbey covers the entire demand of the small town Ostritz and their own through water and solar power stations.
Fee for guided tour 2 Euro per person.
Ascending the calvary is a *must* for several reasons: From there you have the best view of the abbey (see intro pic), the stations of the calvary are really nice works of art and last but not least you'll walk by the easternmost vineyard of Germany :-)
Follow the small path uphill that starts just below the Klosterschenke restaurant. Be forewarned, the hill is quite steep, although not too long so it should be doable even for not the fittest people. The stations are sandstone monuments with paintings depicting the way of the cross. On top is an ensemble of sandstone figures depicting Mary and John, in the middle the crucified Jesus Christ. It is an outstanding Baroque work of art from 1728.
In the western part of the abbey complex (entrance signposted) is a garden with biblical plants. It is beautifully designed, an enclosed area for which they ask you to pay a small fee.
The garden has a size of about 1,000 m2 and was created 1998/99 on the grounds of the economy buildings. Most of the 110 plants mentioned in the bible are to find here - many kinds would not survive the central European winter, though, thus are planted in buckets and taken inside in winter.
Definitely get closer to the plants and smell them. Whoa.
The most beautiful (IMO) building of the abbey complex is the Chapel of the Cross and St. Michael, consecrated in 1756. It is located at the southwestern corner of the abbey, right behind the Trinity column. Access with a guided tour only.
The chapel has a quadratic ground-plan, is two storeys tall and has an octogonal dome. The facades are beautifully decorated. Very impressive is the ceiling fresco in the dome, a work of Karl Franz Palko from Bohemia. On the western wall is an altar with a large crucifixus from 1515. There is another altar depicting Saint Michael on the southern wall and there are several other statues in the chapel - a great Baroque work of art.
Very interesting is that there is a crypt in the chapel where Henriette Sontag, a famous opera singer (soprano, died 1854) and her sister are buried. Accessible during the guided tours (pic 5).
A bit unusual for an abbey, the simple church entrance is tucked away behind the main buildings on the left side.
Once inside you'll be surprised to see a church interior quite of different style compared to the appearance of the other abbey buildings. The church is still a Gothic structure (consecrated in 1244), although the interior was redecorated several times after fires and floods. The big reconstruction works after 1683 were done in Baroque style but from 1859 on that was turned back into neo-Gothic style step by step.
The walls are painted in Nazarene style, thus the very dark appearance nowadays. Quite remarkable are the stained-glass windows from 1859 depicting Christ, Peter, Paul, Mary, the founder and first abbot of the abbey in Citeaux (Robert de Molesme and Stephan Harding), and other Cistercian saints. On the western side is a nun's choir above the nave (pic 5).
The altars, pulpit, wooden wall panels and other interior are from the restoration works after the flood 1897. It's all neo-Gothic style, excellent works of art.
The abbey church is open daily 7 - 19.30 h. Masses at the usual hours for a Cistercian abbey, several times a day (you're free to attend).