Thursday, January 17, 2013

Melk Monastery

Okay, this is going to be a picture heavy and word light post.  I know that my family and friends back home are eager to see pictures of the beauty of Europe!  And my thoughts are not organized enough yet to write a full blown blog post.  

The pictures below are of the monastery of Melk, a Benedictine monastery that has been operating for roughly 1000 years.  That is hard to imagine when you are from a country that is only a few hundred years old.  Just for clarification, this is not where I am living.  The monastery I am living in is no longer a monastery, but a 4 star hotel!  I will post pictures of the Kartause and the town of Gaming later.  And now, ladies and gentlemen, here is Melk:

 A picture of the main courtyard. 

 An outdoor corridor.  Isn't it peaceful?

 A hallway in the former imperial guest suite.  Apparently the doorway at the far end of the hallway is a little bit shorter than the one at the end where I took the picture.  This makes the hallway seem even longer than it is... and it was already pretty long!

The front of the monastery church.  The church is probably bigger than the cathedral in my home diocese!  It is painted yellow because of its association with the Hapsburgs, a family who ruled the Austrian empire, whose castle the monastery complex once was.

A view of the Danube river from the balcony in front of the church. 

The high altar of the church.  In the middle, above the tabernacle, you can see Sts. Peter and Paul shaking hands.  There are many statues and gold decorations all throughout the church.  But, since it is gold leaf/gold plating it only took 6 pounds of gold to decorate the entire church.

A view of Melk from across the Danube as we were driving to lunch.

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