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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Stift Melk, Austria: The complete set [20110424|15:56]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[with a hint of |the buzzing of bees]



Go behind the cut to take a tour of the Benedictine monastery in Melk, Austria, where there is enough gold leaf to gild an entire herd of elephants. Photos ensmallened for slow connections. All can be clicked to view larger sizes.


Ooh, hello there, welcome to our bright colourful cheery monastery! We haven’t quite grasped this deprivation-of-earthly-pleasures idea and we have no intention of suffering unduly, as will become abundantly clear to you momentarily.
Come past the courtyard...
...and enter our stunning and often rather gruesome display of relics. We hope you appreciate the architectural appeal of this exhibit.
As you pass through each room, be sure to turn and look behind you. Even when you reach the sixth and final room, you will still be able to see the first blue room through the doorway. We’re rather proud of the layered lighting effect.
In this mirrored room full of priceless relics, you can re-enact that awesome scene in Enter the Dragon where Bruce Lee fights the big boss. Please only do this in your mind.
Bone fragment of St John the Baptist.
Hello! I am creepy cherub. I watch over this curious cabinet in which enough bones are contained to make a complete skeleton. Except none of them come from the same person. Hahaha. Oops.
Do you like our balcony? You can see the Danube from here, and have a lovely view over the city of Melk.
This is our library. No, [personal profile] nanila, you cannot live in here.
This sculpture contains a set of metal tubes summarizing the life’s work of the persons whose names are engraved on the outside of the wooden structure. (Bloke of approximately 6’ in height included for scale.)
We’ve saved the most ornate, most stunning portion of our monastery (that you’re allowed to see, anyway) for last. Even if you aren’t fond of Baroque architecture, you will be impressed by this. Or at least kind of weirded out by the skeleton in the costume.
People like these arched passageways so much that they often photograph them twice.
The view over our formal gardens from the car park. We hope you enjoyed your visit to our humble, unprepossessing abode.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2011-04-24 15:53 (UTC)
Dear nanila:

I read this out loud to my parents at Easter breakfast, and we split our corsets laughing. That is exactly how I felt about Melk. And I've been meaning to write up our Melk trip, and other stuff has gotten in the way. I think I should just link people here, since I couldn't do any better than this at explaining the counter-Reformation glory of Melk to anyone.

Bravo!

Goes off snickering.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-25 11:12 (UTC)
*bows* Thank you, thank you. Please do link if you would like.
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[User Picture]From: dylsexia
2011-04-24 16:32 (UTC)
Shiny things enrapture; hence the use of stained glass, jewels and gold in churches.

Stick all the shiny things you can in one room and hope to brainwash the masses that this accumulation of shiny is in fact the touch of a benevolent creator.
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[User Picture]From: dylsexia
2011-04-24 16:35 (UTC)
Also:

Great photos and love the write-up!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-25 11:08 (UTC)
Yes. I found it intriguing that the relic containers were not themselves made of valuable materials. Most of them were cheap gilded silver at best, decorated with coloured glass stones. A few of them had genuine gemstones, but it seemed that most were considered to be good enough as long as they were shiny.
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2011-04-24 16:57 (UTC)

If it's not baroque, don't fix it...

Wow, what an interesting place!

Thanks for the closeup of John the Baptist's bone - I couldn't find it in all of that gild!

I would love to have a big library someday... I know how Belle feels when she first sees the Beast's library!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-25 10:58 (UTC)

Re: If it's not baroque, don't fix it...

I found it curious that a lot of the containers for the relics aren't terribly valuable - e.g. they're cheap gilded silver and all the stones are just coloured glass rather than actual gems. They're still priceless, of course, but the actual materials aren't.

I want a library like Jack Skellington's someday.
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[User Picture]From: returntosender
2011-04-24 18:10 (UTC)
The skeleton is like something out of a fantasy novel. Amazing.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-25 10:59 (UTC)
I half-expected it to get up and dance.
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From: anokapolis
2011-04-24 21:11 (UTC)
Great pics as usual, I'm going Vienna before I head back home at the end of semester, I will surely go see this.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-25 11:00 (UTC)
Oh, you should! You can easily make your way to the Danube for a little saunter along its banks afterward, which is what the bloke & I did.
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2011-04-25 03:22 (UTC)
Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful images (written and pictorial)! I am secretly hoping the large globe in the library opens up to reveal a scotch decanter and tumblers. We saw the treasury at the Cathedral in Cologne, Germany. I have always been fascinated with holy relics, so it was a real treat for me! The whole idea of keeping bones around because they belonged to a saint or whatever, delights my macabre nature. I kept trying to figure out which bones were there. A lot of phalanges, but a couple of long bones. I imagine they were at quite a premium when they were being divied up though, so most of them are mere fragments.
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2011-04-25 03:24 (UTC)
P.S. I just noticed that the bones under the cherub appear to be "bedazzled" with gems!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-25 11:00 (UTC)
Most of them are probably just coloured glass. It's rather curious that the relic containers aren't usually made of valuable materials. It was enough that they were shiny - they didn't have to be genuine.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-25 11:02 (UTC)
If I have a library like that someday, I promise you that the globe will contain a scotch decanter and tumblers.

You're right about the saints being pared quite finely. The John the Baptist fragment is just a splinter, really.
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