Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Melk. And yes, I mean Melk, not Milk.

Sometimes I am a completely and utter failure at life. This includes our trip to Melk where I was incapable of going on a bike trip down the Donau. I know, I know. I need to learn how to ride a bike eventually, but I guess it wasn't last weekend. However, the weekend was not a complete loss because we got to visit the Stift Melk.

I was quite fascinated by the monastery. It's one of the oldest monestaries in Austria. It was founded by the Babenburgs, and then later taken over by the Habsburgs when they came to power. The monks there dedicate their lives to work, study and prayer. They run a school there. The monestary is built in the Baroque style. So again, it was a beautiful place. I think the most impressive part of Melk was the library. It looked like something straight out of Beauty and the Beast. I was also impressed by the beauty of the gardens around the monestary. I think it would be good for all of us to take a page out of the monks' books and spend some time in quiet reflection in the out doors. Their way of life may be simple, but you can tell it is full of simplistic joy.

Other fun facts from my Melk notes:

angels are always chubby because plumpness was a sign that you had enough to eat. and in heaven there's always enough to eat.

the paintings were done in the danube school style. meaning, the painters gave the Bible stories characteristics in clothing and landscape from their area to make the paintings more relatable to the common people. for example, the enemy of the Austrians during the 17th century was the Turks. so Pilate was painted as a turk.

Treasure at the monestary was books.

The marble hall was heated just like the Roman floors in ancient times. Those Romans really knew how to heat things.

Well that's it for now.

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