October 1, 2008. Melk is famous for its Abbey, one of the grandest Baroque monuments in Austria. It is still a Benedictine working Abbey and the library is used as a research center by many of today's scholars. The following photos are on the way from the boat to the Abbey.
Entrance gates to the Abbey.
Central courtyard. The last photo is our guide, Marie Christine.
On each side of the courtyard walls there is a frontispiece depicting the Four Virtues to be practiced by the monks: Justice, Temperance, Wisdom and Strength.
Statues and interior staircase of the Abbey.
Portrait of Maria Theresa Hapsburg and her husband Francis of Lorraine.
In the lobby of the Abbey there is a very modern display of the ancient Benedictine rules.
Also on display was a small altar which could be carried on journeys, a St Agnes Reliquary containing her brain and some of her bones and there was a 14th century Rule Book. There were also two very ornate chasubles and very elaborate frames and sculptures which contrasted with the plain coffin used by the monks.
Stairways inside the Abbey cloister led to the library with some 80,000 books. The windows of the library and the paintings on the ceilings and the walls were designed to give the illusion of greater heights.
From the windows, inside the Abbey Church, one had a very good view of the surrounding countryside. The altars inside the church were very ornate and so were the ceiling paintings.
We walked along the streets of the village and then returned to the boat through some beautiful woods.