Melk is around 40 km from Krems up the river. You come to see him, to see the greatest baroque monastery in Austria, dramatically suspended over a steep cliff. A great abbey, with mustard yellow walls, dominates the neighborhood. Its enormity makes, that the city becomes imperceptible. Originally it was only a Roman border bridge. In the 10th century, the fortress fell into the hands of the Babenbergs, a w 1089 year it became the property of the Benedictines. Few of the medieval structures have survived, and what attracts and stuns half a million tourists a year is the richly decorated building, which was built in the first half of the 18th century.


Mentioned by Umberto Eco in the Name of the Rose of the Middle Ages Melk, he was famous primarily for his knowledge and erudition as well as very valuable relics, including the body of an Irish missionary, st. Koloman, who was worshiped for his healing power. The medieval abbey burned down to the last splinter during the Turkish invasion of 1683 year. It was only a fire site – until the ambitious abbot, Berthold Dietmayer, authorized the local architect, Jakob Prandtauer, quite new to be planned, a wonderful monastery. The design was so bold, that Dietmayer's monks revolted, terrified of disregarding the principle of contempus mundi. Before construction began, the abbot had to prove, that the law can afford it. The abbey continues to function, counting approx 34 monks (half are permanent residents). Monastery school, where about seven hundred boys and girls study, remains one of the most prestigious academic institutions in Austria.

The entrance to the order is on the eastern side. Several gates lead inside. You can walk through the courtyards and visit the abbey church for free, however, to see the monastic interiors from the inside, you have to buy a ticket at the top of Keiserstiege, in the south-west corner of the Pralatenhof (the second courtyard). They are also available at the information desk, in the south of Vorhof (first courtyard).

Cesarean section, marmurowa hall and library

Cesarean section, at the top of the Keiserstiege, is a huge gallery with a length of over 190 meters, planned to give access to eighty-eight imperial chambers, some of which were adapted to the needs of the abbey museum. Unfortunately, the three most valuable exhibits are rarely exhibited and are usually replaced by photographs. These are: milker cross, A fourteenth-century cross containing a fragment of the cross of Christ, lined with, among others. aquamarines and pearls; 11th-century portable altar from Swanhild, carved in the bones of a walrus, which depicts the life of Christ and an 11th-century reliquary with the lower jaw and a tooth of St.. Crawl-power. In the museum, you can see a fragment of the Sapphire altar, from year 1502 year, the work of Jorg Breu senior, one of the representatives of the Danube school. The various parts of the altar present the story of Christ. The facial features of the characters are shown with great expression, which was characteristic of this very manner.

In the next rooms there is an exhibition about the history of the abbey. You can visit it on your way to the two halls in Prandtauer. First of them, it's a marble room (Marble Hall) in reds and grays, with exquisite frescoes by Paul Troger. Troger specialized in painting frescoes, and the mastery with which he used perspective makes, that the vault appears to be much higher, than it really is. Despite the name, the only thing in the marble room is actually made of real marble, to portal. To reach the library, you have to go outside and walk through the curving terrace, from which you can admire great views of the city (below) and the Danube (in the distance). Aged volumes in the library, bound in 18th-century leather, They are set up to the ceiling on beautifully carved aspen trees, walnut and oak shelves. Colorful fresco by Troger, which was never renewed, (allegory of faith full of angels) it kept its original colors thanks to this, that the library has neither lighting, nor heating. Spiral stairs lead from it to the collegiate church.

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