With musical accompaniment! And yarny stuff!
After our stop in Durnstein, we went back to the ship for lunch as we continued up the Danube to Melk, Austria. The main attraction in Melk is the Melk Abbey. In fact, it’s one of the top tourist destinations in Austria. The beautiful gold color of the building was spectacular against the blue sky.
Though it doesn’t look all that big in the photo above, it’s absolutely huge. What you’re seeing is only the short West side of it. Here’s an aerial view of it:
The Imperial corridor is over 600 feet long. Of course, when you have to house the royal family with all of their entourage, you need a lot of rooms.
The marble hall was used as a dining hall. The walls are painted to look like marble, and the ceiling, except for just the first few inches of it, is actually flat – but is painted to look like it’s arched. There’s a huge, ornate grate in the center of the floor, which not only allowed heat to rise into the room, but also music.
There’s also a really beautiful spiral staircase.
The monks put round mirrors at the top and bottom of the stairwell so that when you look into it, it seems to be much larger than it really is. In the photo below, the innermost yellow half-circle is the mirror.
The Melk Abbey library is legendary. They have around 100,000 books, the oldest of which dates back to the 800’s. The main library room is gorgeous, with another stunning painted ceiling. It contains about 16,000 books, all of which were bound to match – because in the Baroque period, appearance was everything. Unfortunately they no longer permit photographs of the library, but you can see one here.
And of course, the church at the abbey is a Baroque masterpiece. We were fortunate enough with our timing that we arrived at the church just before they started playing some organ music, so we got to sit down and stay for that.
There is one other photo of Melk that I have to include in the post. We saw it in town on our way back from the Abbey. A yarn-bombed bicycle! Of course, it’s outside a yarn shop – Frau Wolle. Unfortunately, she was just closing the shop as we went by, so I wasn’t able to go in.
More of my Melk photos can be found here.
And for the music portion of the post… I took a bit of video while we were listening to the pipe organ in the church, so you can experience the sight and sound for yourself:
All posts for this vacation can be found with this tag: Europe2013
You weren’t kidding about the hugeness. Pretty stuff, to be sure. Alas about the yarn shop. I was wondering if you have been able to knit anything of late.
I’ve been taking organ lessons, love that you recorded some of the organ music. Stuck at my desk, wish I could see it in person. Thanks for all the pictures!
You’ve about left me speechless. It’s vastness, ageless art works beauty are hard to fathom. I also wonder how it survived through the unrest and wars in its lifetime.
So ornate and immense. It makes me wonder how many years or workers it took to build some of these buildings. And like Margene said…it’s amazing they are still standing.