Stift Melk - UNESCO-Welterbe

Columned Hall

Print this page


Originally the Columned Hall was used as a horse stable and granary. When the stables were relocated, it became a store room for furniture and materials. The eight dominating angular columns that determine the room’s structure have remained unchanged. In recent years the Columned Hall was restored and modernized: the old wooden floor was removed to make room for Solnhofer stone tiles which are also found in many other parts of the abbey building. The windows were repaired, new doors were incorporated, ventilation and lighting were adapted for contemporary use.

Today the Columned Hall has a light and friendly atmosphere. The spacious versatile room has the potential for all sorts of activities, and is used for ever-changing special exhibitions.


Special exhibition “Art Stations” 
Since July 2013 the artist Christa Hameseder has remained in constant contact with the art group of the social aid organisation Caritas in Retz whose members are artists who are being assisted in facilities for persons with disabilities. During a visit to the Caritas-operated farm in Unternalb Ms. Hameseder and the responsible Caritas coordinators there first discussed possible projects. Over time a very special connection developed which has been growing, particularly through artistic cooperation.
At first the Caritas workshops were commissioned by Ms. Hameseder to build the wooden furniture for her newly created studio in the Wachau valley. A year later a joint traveling exhibition of the art group and Ms. Hameseder was organized in the Retz region. The following year Ms. Hameseder accompanied the artists to their annual summer art camp in the Czech Republic. Since 2016 that summer workshop has been held in her studio. Therefore, the Art Group Retz has had the possibility to work artistically with Ms. Hameseder and to exhibit their work together with hers.

Against this backdrop the idea to plan a 3-year artistic journey through three Lower Austrian monasteries was born. The monasteries of Geras and Göttweig have already wonderfully hosted the exhibition, and Melk abbey is the project’s last station.