Stift Melk, or Melk Abbey in English is one of the pearls of Austria just waiting to be discovered. If you ask me what the highlight of my visit to Austria was, it was definitely seeing this place. I had never heard of the town of Melk before nor the abbey and I guess that added to my utter amazement that in the middle of extensive agricultural land sits an awe-inspiring monastry on a rocky hilltop.
This Benedictine abbey overlooks the town of Melk and the Danube River. The abbey was established in 1089 and houses remains of Austria’s first ruling dynasty, the House of Babenburg. It was also the site of the production of many religious manuscripts. The current facade of the building was constructed in the 1700s in a baroque style.
Credit: Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/1EsunGF)
As you enter the area there is a charming cafe on your right hand side.
Pass through the main yellow gate and you’re now in for a surprise.
Never did I imagine the beauty that I would see at Melk Abbey! The yellow facade makes it welcoming and most pleasing on the eye. There is a kind of surreal beauty and magic to the place, one which I cannot capture with words, but I’ll try my utmost.
Inside they abbey are various religious exhibits which paint the picture of this locale through history.
You also get to see some rather ornate pieces that adorned the walls of the abbey.
And there is a 3D model of the abbey so you can get an idea just how large this building is in relation to the town itself. In fact, you can see Melk Abbey from quite a distance away due to its elevated situation.
There are also some really glorious rooms with a myriad of colours and textures just waiting to be explored.
And my favourite room is no doubt the library. No photographs are allowed inside so I had to pull this one below from Wikipedia. Seeing certainly is believing.
I was equally impressed by the stunning yellow and white facade and view from the large terrace.
Don’t forget to view the highly decorated church at Melk Abbey which has one of the most incredible, colourful frescoed ceilings I’ve ever come across.
The outside garden area of Melk Abbey makes for a great stroll after you’ve explored the inside. There is a lovely little summer house in a light shade of pink together with perfectly trimmed shrubs and bushes. You just have to explore this area while you’re there!
Just looking at the house with the little fontain in front makes you feel as though you’ve stepped into different period of time as a princess or royal or such.
And the last part of the visit to Melk Abbey was to this little herb garden where you have the chance to go from plant to plant smelling the scents and absorbing the beautiful colours. What a great way to end a visit to Melk Abbey and what a sensory experience it has been!