Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
October 4, 2010
From journal Vienna at Christmas
July 18, 2005
The first documentary reference to the name Melk dates from the year 831. It was, in all probability, at this time that a castle was built on the cliff-top site of the present-day abbey.
Since the 12th century, a school has been connected with the monastery, and valuable manuscripts have been collected and created in the library. In the course of the monastery’s history, members of the Melk monastic community have achieved significant success in the fields of natural science and the arts.
The imperial rooms are currently home to the most modern abbey museum in Austria. The topic of the exhibition is "The Path from Yesterday to Today - Melk Abbey in its Past and Present."
I'd thoroughly recommend the guided tour, which includes the history associated with all of the art and exhibits.
During a visit to the abbey, in addition to the imperial rooms, one can see the Marble Hall and library and masterworks of baroque room design with famous frescoes by Paul Troger, as well as the terrace, with a wonderful view of the Danube scenery and the western facade of the abbey church.
You can also enjoy an authentic Austrian lunch at the Abbey restaurant. Ask to be seated downstairs, which has a nicer, quieter atmosphere.
From journal Waltzing through Vienna
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
June 7, 2004
The Abbey is huge with a church, library and art gallery sharing space with a school and retreat centre. Entering from the main courtyard I passed through the Imperial Corridor lined with paintings of Austrian royalty. Leading off the corridor
were a number of rooms filled with religious art including the Breu Altar from 1502.
At the end of the corridor is the Marble Hall with its 18th-century ceiling fresco by Paul Troger and a quote from St. Benedict inscribed over the door "Guests should be
received as Christ would be". At the other end of the Marble Hall are large doors that
lead to the balcony. This was one of the best places to get a picture of the front of the Abbey Church and to enjoy the views of the Danube and the town of Melk spread out
below. The balcony connects the Marble Hall to the Library where twelve rooms contain close to 100,000 volumes of work, some prior to the 16th century. I really liked the spiral staircase beside the library that reminded me of a serpent coiling around and around.
My final stop was at the Church which is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture and the Abbey’s focal point. The windows are pale opaque glass; no stained glass here because it wouldn’t be noticed due to the sheer majesty of the domed ceiling frescoes, huge golden crown and massive pipe organ. Each side of the ornate altar has a sarcophagus - on the right is an empty one dedicated to St. Benedict and the one on the left contains the skeleton of St. Coloman, patron saint of Melk and the monastery.
The Abbey grounds are also worth a visit with the baroque pavilion and extensive walking trails. The Abbey is open daily and admission is 6.90 euro per adult. Allow a couple of hours to explore and if you get tired, take a break at the cafe or restaurant.
From journal The A, B, C of Melk
by Barb B
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona
July 4, 2001
Atop the sheer granite cliffs rising beside the Danube, the dramatic 900 year old Baroque Abbey at Melk presents a spectacular view to approaching tourists. Originally a Roman border post and later a fortress for the reigning Babenberg family, today this Benedictine Monastery is one of Austria’s most prestigious academic institutions housing over 700 students.
You can stroll through the Abbey’s numerous courtyards, visit the impressive church and go into the shops and restaurant without cost. However, I recommend that you take a tour. The interesting tidbits of information you’ll receive about the history are well worth the modest cost of about $3.50.
The high points of the tour are the Library, the Marble Hall, the Church and the Museum:
The Library contains richly carved wooden shelves from floor to ceiling housing beautifully rebound leather and gold leaf books from the 18th century. The frescoed ceiling of angels, cherubs and other celestial beings has not been repainted in its 270 years, thanks to the library‘s lack of heating and lighting.
The Marble Hall displays the artist Paul Troger’s superb handling of perspective. The ceiling fresco appears curved and makes the room appear much larger; however, it is actually flat.
The Museum houses many precious relics and treasures of the Monastery including The Melk Cross (a 14th century gem-encrusted cross which contains a relic of the cross of Christ).
The Church with carved marble pillars, stunning gold pulpit and elegantly frescoed ceiling is definitely not a modest little chapel!
The Abbey is open daily from 9am to 5pm (until 6pm May until September). A small gift shop offers moderately priced items, but skip the restaurant and save you appettite for a stop at a stube or gasthaus in town.
From journal Got Melk??