Posted by: travelrat | June 26, 2018

Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey

Melk: 30th March 2018

From Dürnstein, we cruised up the river to Melk, another little village, famed for its Abbey, atop a hill. Possibly its greatest claim to fame is that it received a mention in the novel and the film ‘The Name of the Rose’ … I think …. it may have been filmed here, but having neither read the book nor seen the film, I couldn’t say for certain.

It was once a palace, but was given to the Benedictine order in 1089. Maybe, in those days, giving a palace away was the equivalent of going on a Crusade, or something? The present abbey was built in the baroque style between 1702 and 1736.

(The word ‘baroque’ is said to be derived from an Italian architect saying ‘e barocco!’ (‘It is not correct’). Nevertheless, the style became very popular around this time)

Of course, time didn’t permit seeing all of it, but we did see a fair bit. But, we didn’t see any monks. They are there, we were told, but not many any more. But, it is home to a well-regarded school, which caters for about 900 pupils. So, the greater part of the rest of the Abbey is open to the public.

And, since the abbey is built on the top of a hill, the view of the river and the surrounding countryside is one of its outstanding features.

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