Monastery as the Garden of Eden

architect Heinz Tesar
project Centre of the Franciscan Sisters from Hallein, Oberalm, Austria
written by Otto Kapfinger


In 2012/13, ten kilometres south of Salzburg and three kilometres north of Hallein, the old salt city, a monastery was built following the plans of Heinz Tesar. When the new centre of the Franciscan Sisters from Hallein was placed in it, the form and the elements of the traditional park of the Kahlsperg Castle, a residence for senior citizens in the middle of the Salzach River valley were re-evaluated. In 1952 count Walterskirchen offered the Franciscan Sisters the Kahlsberg Castle, provided that they used the area for a community purpose. The five-storey medieval castle, mostly built in the 17th century, was adapted to meet the needs of a nursing home. Low extensions were added to the main building, and since 1968, the Sisters have been running it as a residence for senior citizens of the middle class.