Melk Abbey ChurchAbbey church Melk
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Today's Baroque abbey was constructed between 1702 and 1736 according to plans by Jakob Prandtauer. The monastery church with frescoes by Johann Michael Rottmayr and the mediaeval manuscript book store, among them a famous music manuscript and frescoes by Paul Troger, deserve special mention. Because of its glory and university importance, Melk escaped the disintegration under Emperor Joseph II when many other monasteries in Austria were confiscated and disbanded between 1780 and 1790.
During the Napoleonic Wars and also after the annexation in 1938, when the Abbey and a large part of the Abbey were seized by the state, the Abbey was able to overcome other dangers to its survival. After the Second World War, the Abbey was given back to the Abbey and now looks after almost 900 students of both genders.
The abbey has been a member of the Congregation of Austria since 1625, today in the Benedictine Federation. Umberto Eco in his novel The Name of the Rose called one of the characters "Adso von Melk" as a homage to the abbey and its renowned collection. One of his former students was the 19th c. playwright and author of novels Friedrich Halm.
The Melk Monastery was recently chosen as the principal theme of a 10 euros collector coin: the Austrian memorial medal of Melk Monastery, struck on 18 April 2007. On the front is a bottom glimpse of the facade of the monastery church with its two side windows. You can see the two barsoque spires and the big cupola of the church behind them.
At the lower right hand side you can see the emblem of Melk Abbey (the keys of St. Peter crossed). Abbey Melk 1672, before restoration by Jakob Prandtauer. The Wikimedia Commons has publications related to Melk Abbey.