Melk Abbey Reviews
Nice side trip from Vienna Mar 19, 2008
The Abbey in Melk sits up on rock overlooking the town of Melk and the Danube Valley. The monastery dates back to about 1089 but the current building only dates to the early 1700s (the old one burned). The monastery was important for its manuscript library and the production of manuscripts. The monastery is currently a school and houses a nice museum and church.
Upon arrival into Melk by train, you can see the bright yellow complex sitting above the town. It's pretty easy to find: go down the hill from the train station toward the monastery. Go uphill at one of the staircases to the driveway of the Abbey. They have tours but you can also go along a self guided tour, depending on the season.
We were a little pressed for time so we decided to do a self tour, rather than waiting half an hour for a tour that we didn't know how long it would take. I think many of the exhibits in the museum were in German and English, but not all were in English. There were some interesting (and very old) relics from the early church, religious artwork and other objects important to the monastery. One room had some gold and jeweled relics and the entire room was covered in mirrors, so the shiny objects were reflected into forever-land.
The marble room has a nice fresco on the cieling, but I forget exactly what the scene depicts. I really liked the library - floor to cieling bookcases filled with old books. I also found the 17th century globe interesting - look at California. It is shown as an island! The tour ends in the spactacular Baroque church filled with gold and shiny, sparkling objects, painted murals and frescoes and even a couple of crypts of martyrs. Actually, those skeletons were a little creepy.
The view of the Danube Valley was a little overrated in my opinion. The gift shop had lots of books, postcards and even bottles of wine made at the monastery.
Part of the Germany, Italy, Austria, Denmark - all in two weeks? travel blog
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