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„Especially in our fast-paced time, it is one of the most important tasks of our house to impart culture. In addition to our institutions such as the abbey museum and the abbey school, we offer a year-round cultural program and special exhibitions.”


Exhibitions & special exhibitions

Imparting of culture as a central task of Melk Abbey

For years, Melk Abbey has offered a space for contemporary art: works of art were created on site (e.g. the paintings in the Prelate’s Courtyard by Peter Bischof and Helmut Krumpel or the interior design of Saint Benedict’s Chapel by Peter Bischof and Josef Strohmayer), and a large number of temporary exhibitions have been organized.

Changing special exhibitions by local as well as internationally known artists in the Wachau Lab in the Northern bastion, the Columned hall, and other areas of Melk abbey deal with various topics concerning History, the present, art, and culture.

Melk abbey’s world famous magnificent Baroque ensemble and contemporary artistic accents fit together wonderfully. They testify that the monastery is a vibrant place which, while preserving a rich tradition, wants to help shape the present and the future.

Youths – they have always been astonishing in the eyes of older generations. But how do they actually see themselves in 2024? Students at Stiftsgymnasium Melk, between 15 and 18 years old, together with teachers and staff at the monastery, have created an exhibition to showcase their own generation. They’ll walk guests through different areas of their lives, showing how they think, feel and live. All guests are invited to look back on their own youth while experiencing different parts of the exhibition, such as the old telephone booth, portraits of the students’ role models or the party room. If you dare, you can even take a step into a teenager’s brain. Gain new perspectives and discover how much YOU there is in YOUth.

As of June 11, the exhibition Actively Inclusive: Occupational Non-Disability – Barrier-Free Employment Market enhances the visit of Melk Abbey. In the Eastern part of the Imperial Corridor the entrepreneuse Nicole Steinacher and the artist Krassimir Kolev present works addressing the inclusion of people with Down’s syndrome into the vocational world. Twelve powerful paintings illustrate the models’ joy and competence during their daily work. The exhibition provides insights into their everyday work in a very personal way and invites visitors to discern and implement the advantages and potential of the employment of persons with disabilities. For people with disabilities, the path towards their first employment is still characterized by big obstacles. Especially persons with cognitive disabilities are confronted with prejudices regarding their competences and skills. It is necessary to remove these stereotypes to create new possibilities and perspectives, since inclusion in the workplace is not just wishful thinking, but a reality in some companies, which this exhibition wants to express. These special works of art are presented in a series of exhibitions all over Austria. The official inauguration of this touring exhibition took place on June 4 in the building of the Federal Government of Lower Austria. Then the works are on display in Melk Abbey and as of August 21 in the museum of St. Peter an der Sperr in Wiener Neustadt. Other stations are Salzburg in September, then Graz and Carinthia as well as MQ Vienna in April 2025.

Included in the admission ticket to Melk Abbey

June 11 to August 18, 2024 | daily 9 am to 5 pm





The mineral collection whose origins date back to the 18th century has grown considerably these last years. Between 1998 and 2007 the collection was restored and in May 2007 it was open to the interested public for the first time.

Melk abbey’s mineral collection is located in the former prelate’s library. This wonderful Baroque room with stucco decorations and an original ceiling painting from 1643, showing the abbey before its Baroque reconstruction, provides the perfect setting for the minerals.

Flyer Mineral Collection

A visit is possible from 1st April to 31st October 2024 ǀ daily between 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm

The admission to the mineral collection is included in the entrance price of Melk abbey.

Due to limited space in the prelate’s library where the collection is housed, room capacity is limited to no more than 25 visitors at a time.

Please note that the mineral collection is not wheelchair-accessible.

“Inside the garden pavilion dream-like nature from fantastic realms is captivated on the walls: a painted palm house which allows views into the distance, giant trees and leaf tendrils, imagined worlds and people, as well as exotic animals animate ceilings and walls – reveries from a different world, from the new world America.”
Excerpt from the book “Bergl einerseits Bergl andererseits”

In his wall paintings the Baroque painter Johann Wenzel Bergl takes the beholders to far away landscapes full of exotic animals and foreign peoples. His 300th birthday is an occasion to rediscover his enigmatic imagery. His way of handling colors is breathtaking: his frescoes glimmer expertly, and his love for sumptuous fabrics and beaded robes is unmistakable.

The frescoes in Melk abbey’s garden pavilion (1763/64) are among Bergl’s most important works. The paintings with their enchanting landscapes show the far away regions of the “New World”.

On the occasion of Bergl’s anniversary year some of the major sites with works by the master commemorate him and his oeuvre together: an event which crosses borders and allows a glimpse of the vast expanse of Central Europe in the Baroque period. The main event locations are situated in Lower Austria (Melk Abbey, Basilica of Klein-Mariazell, Zwettl Abbey), Vienna, and the Czech Republic (Dvůr Králové and Olomouc). www.bergl2019.eu


Book recommendation to 300 Years Johann Wenzel Bergl:


Diverse reflections about Bergl (in German language) by Andreas Gamerith and many co-authors…

A book for interested people who want to look at pictures, read, discover and fantasize…


Available in Melk abbey’s shops or at shop(at)stiftmelk.at

price: € 17,19

In April 2022 the special exhibition Restoration and Life II was opened in the arcade.