St. Josef Convent

The Kloster St. Josef is a nunnery in the Salzburg district of Nonntal. The nuns that run the place belong to a congregation dedicated to helping women and girls in distress. The Kloster St. Josef dates back to the late 19th century. In 1878, Theresia von Piller approached Prince Archbishop Albert Eder with the project to found a house that would serve as a shelter for abused or homeless women.

As little as two years later, such a facility was opened by three nuns under the supervision of Theresia von Piller. The first site was on the Nonnberg, but in 1882, a farmhouse in the Hellbrunnerstraße was bought. In 1884, the construction of the current nunnery was started - mainly funded by donations from Cserveny von Zabor, a clergy. In 1886, the Herz-Maria-Kirche church was opened by Prince Archbishop Albert Eder. In 1908, a private primary school opened on the premises of St. Josef, which was publicly accredited in 1918. Ever since then, schooling has been a "core discipline" of St. Josef.

During the Nazi period, the nunnery was closed and made a hospital. In 1947, the nuns returned and re-converted the convent. In 1969, the originally historicist church was completely re-modelled into a typical 1960ies building; it was consecrated by Archbishop Andreas Rohracher. In 1982, the women′s shelter and school facilities were extended with a medical centre "St. Anna". The nunnery and its church was renovated in 2002/2003.

Today, it is the centre for schools, a kindergarten, a medical centre and a dormitory for students. The lively community is still situated in the original site; its vast gardens (once needed for an agricultural school) are not open to the general public. Note the Josefshof or Kasererhof a few metres down the Hellbrunnerstraße, one of the very few historic buildings in this neighbourhood.

Further Reading
ABZ St. Josef, official website

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