About one hundred miles west of Vienna, a short distance south of Austria's main east-west Autobahn, is an ancient Benedictine monastery named Kremsmunster, founded in the eighth century. Its present buildings date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and, like most Austrian architectural monuments, they are predominantly baroque. The abbey is located in the hilly transition zone between the Danube basin to the northeast and the Austrian Alps to the southwest and is beautifully situated on the shoulder of a steep hill overlooking the Krems river. The hills surrounding the abbey are mostly covered with farms and pastures, but also with vineyards and isolated patches of pine forest.