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VISIT OF THE ABBEY PARK (May to October)
Before or after the abbey visit the abbey park invites you to linger.
The Baroque garden pavilion with exotic frescoes, the “Paradise Garden”, the Jardin Méditerranéen, the Jardin Oriental, the thought-provoking “St. Benedict’s Path”, the “Talking Stones”, the campfire circle, the historical water basin, 250-year-old linden trees and many more accents wait to be discovered.
Saint Benedict’s Path in Melk Abbey Park
“Having opened our eyes to the deifying light, let us hear with awestruck ears what the divine voice, crying out daily, doth admonish us.” RB Prologue 9
Through a gentle visual and acoustic presentation Saint Benedict’s Path imparts important wisdom and elemental beliefs from Saint Benedict’s monastic rule.
Many people don’t know much about monasteries. Some believe that people living in monasteries only pray, forsake all mundane and exciting things and shut themselves off from the world. Then there are those who have the ideal perception that only good people are living in a monastery who are always of one mind and soul.
Worldwide about 17.000 Benedictine nuns and about 9.000 Benedictine monks are living in monasteries, following the Rule of Saint Benedict, which he wrote in the 6th century in the abbey of Monte Cassino. Since 1089 there have always been Benedictine monks living in Melk Abbey, without interruption.
Saint Benedict’s Path calls attention to various typical Benedictine points of view. The thoughts expressed by the author of Saint Benedict’s Path, Melk’s former abbot Dr. Burkhard Ellegast, bespeak his own decades of effort to live according to Saint Benedict’s Rule. In addition, Saint Benedict’s Path also offers passages from abbot primate Notger Wolf’s book “Worauf warten wir? (What are we waiting for?)”
Saint Benedict’s Path is intended to encourage us to consciously set boundaries, to respect rules, and yet to constantly learn to keep moving. It points out possibilities to forge one’s own path in one’s own particular situation.
Saint Benedict’s Path is situated in the Northern part of Melk abbey park, east of the garden pavilion. Upon 12 stands visitors find quotes from Saint Benedict’s Rule and reflections about it. Music can be heard in two places (Saint Benedict’s Song, Gregorian chant).
Der BENEDIKTUSWEG im Melker Stiftspark
VIA BENEDICTI MELLICENSIS
by abbot em. Dr. Burkhard Ellegast OSB
available in Melk abbey’s gift shop or online at firstname.lastname@example.org
Melk Abbey Park
“The abbey park does not only reflect its 250-year-long history, but also attests to Man’s and Nature’s power of creation. Through the constant interaction of architecture, Nature and spirituality the abbey park has become a unique park landscape.” Father Martin Rotheneder
The defining influences for the abbey park were the movements of the Baroque garden aesthetic and the English landscape garden, which both still determine the park’s character. The Baroque garden pavilion with its exotic frescoes by Johann W. Bergl, the Oriental Garden with a view of the Danube valley, Saint Benedict’s Path with texts for meditation, the historical water basin with the New World, surrounded by 250-year old linden trees, the Walafrid Strabo Garden and many other accents are waiting to be discovered during a stroll through the gardens.
Since the year 2000 the abbey park has been open for visitors and is fully revitalized: a wonderful garden to complement Melk abbey’s buildings is waiting for the guests. Depending on financial feasibility and zeitgeist the appearance of the abbey park has constantly changed. Since the revitalization of the 1990s many new ideas have been implemented and integrated into the park. Following plans by DI Dr. Alfred Benesch new areas were created in Melk abbey park: the Cabinet Clairvoyée in the northwestern corner, the Paradise Garden in the southern section which includes the Walafrid Strabo Garden and the Mediterranean Garden, or the Oriental Garden in the northeastern corner.
Since the opening of the abbey park in the year 2000 it has also been a setting for installations and sculptures by contemporary artists. With the restauration of the Northern Bastion an important hub between the abbey buildings and the abbey park was created. Its panoramic terrace offers a beautiful view of the gardens.
Melk abbey park is open daily, from May to October, between 9.00 am and 6.00 pm. Park admission is included in the ticket for the abbey visit. Guests who are interested only in the gardens can get tickets for the park only, without a visit of the abbey building.