Monastery in Melk in Austria, resort of Lower Austria (Topic)

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Monastery in Melk in Austria, resort of Lower Austria

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The Benedictine Monastery, located in Melk, in the Wachau Valley, is one of the main tourist attractions in Lower Austria. For ten centuries the monastery has belonged to the Benedictine monastic order.

In the 11th century, the territory on which the city of Melk was located was owned by the Austrian princely dynasty of Babenberg. At the beginning of the 11th century, the relics of St. Coloman were brought here. Later, a small monastery was built on this territory, in which the Order of St. Benedict settled in the late 1080s. The monastery passed into submission to the Pope in 1122.

In 1297, a fire broke out in the monastery, which destroyed almost all the monastery buildings. and also the manuscripts kept in the library.   In the XIII century, the restoration of church buildings was planned, which was postponed several centuries ahead. The main reasons were – lack of funding, the outbreak of the plague, as well as a split in the church.

In 1414-1418 in Constanta, at an ecumenical council, a decision was made to reform Benedictine monasteries. These transformations began with the monastery in Melk, which later passed on its experience to others.

The long-awaited reconstruction of the monastery began only in the 18th century. The construction work was almost completed, but a strong fire broke out in the monastery, after which restoration work began soon. By 1746 the monastery complex acquired the Baroque style.

During the wars in the 20th century, the monastery was practically not damaged. Large-scale reconstruction works were carried out in the complex in the second half of the 20th century.

The main building of the monastery complex is the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The library, decorated with frescoes by P. Troger, contains more than 750 books and manuscripts published before the 16th century.

It also houses a museum, each room of which is dedicated to one or more topics:
Antique art from the Babenberg era;
Boarding, school and pedagogical functioning of the monastery;
Theater and music;
Monastery economy;
Saint Benedict, Benedictines;
History of the construction of the monastery;
Melk cross;
Baroque monastery complex (you can also see a miniature model of the monastery here).


Also noteworthy is the Marble Hall, which was originally conceived as a place for feasts and celebrations for guests. The hall is decorated with frescoes dated 1731, which symbolize the power and ideals of the Habsburg rule.


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Topic: Monastery in Melk in Austria, resort of Lower Austria.Monastery in Melk in Austria, resort of Lower Austria

Author: Kelly Costine