Stift Melk - UNESCO-Welterbe

Abbey Church

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“NON CORONABITUR NISI LEGITIME CERTAVERIT” (“Without a legitimate battle there is no victory”) (2 Timothy 2,5).

The meaning of the Melk Abbey Church can be seen in the inscription on the high altar. The battle which leads to victory is embodied on the high altar through the martyrdom of the apostles Peter and Paul, and further depicted by that of St. Coloman (Coloman Altar). It is most strongly expressed by the monk’s battle for virtue, the theme of the nave fresco, in a depiction of St. Benedict. The victory in this battle is portrayed on the one hand by the large victory crown on the high altar and the dome frescoes, in which the heavens open, and on the other hand by the victor’s laurels over the monk, who has achieved spiritual fulfillment, in the nave fresco.