Monday, September 16, 2019

St. Florian's Monastery



Today's look back at our European Adventure takes us to St. Florian's Monastery in northeast Austria. Tim opted to go on a bike tour while I chose to visit the monastery. My thinking was that I can go biking any day, but Baroque architecture and history are hard to come by in our region. 

St. Florian was a Roman soldier who ran into serious trouble for NOT persecuting Christians, and who became a Christian himself. Although condemned to be burned at the stake, he was thrown into the river with a millstone hung about his neck. As a result, he became the saint of floods and firefighters.


Our tour began in the crypt below the church, where the first church on the site began in the 900s. St. Florian is buried here, along with a lot of other people. In the top left corner of the mosaic above, you'll notice the ornate coffin of Anton Bruckner, the Austrian composer. Behind the coffin is an ossuary of some 6000 Christians whose bones were retrieved during some phase of building. The bones are neatly stacked in rows behind iron grills. It was a little freakish. 


From the cellars we climbed upstairs to the church which is full of light and loveliness. The ceiling is very ornate, but if you look very, very closely, you'll see that the ceiling frescos are trompe l'oeil, (fool the eye), and that the stucco work is painted, not 3-D, unlike the white pillars below. 



Anton Bruckner was a choir boy here, and loved to play the organ, seen above. His coffin is directly below the organ, when the organ is played, the music is heard in the crypt below. 



We wandered through long white hallways with marble floors and wide arches that opened to the courtyard below. I can't help thinking that it would have been very chilly to go from one room to the next in the winter cold. 

Our guide gathered our group together in front of a set of beautiful wooden doors with inlaid patterns and told us we would be seeing the library next. 



My heart went pitter patter when I stepped into the room. It is truly magnificent. Such a richness of books - 150,000 of them - on gorgeous wooden shelves reaching high, high to the ceiling. Sets of beautifully bound volumes filled the shelves - white, blue, brown, with the occasional red. Light poured in through tall windows set between the bookshelves. 


Hidden doors at each end of the room allow the curved shelves to open for access to the next rooms, also used for books. This is a working research library and when we entered a young man slipped quietly through the door to allow us our time in this magical space. I could have stayed all day. Our guide didn't hurry us at all, but allowed us to soak in the atmosphere and ask questions. Such richness.

How about you? Bike ride or monastery? Tim enjoyed his ride and the guide told the group about the history of the area. 

Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Angie of Letting Go of the Bay Leaf. 

36 comments:

  1. Monastery! Oh my that library! So gorgeous. But I bet that bike ride was pretty too. Did your hubby snap some pics to share? :) Kit

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  2. Monastery...what a uniquely lovely (with a few minor exceptions) place. That library! Amazing.

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  3. My problem would be "both" excursions sound like great photo ops to me. I thought those bookcases looked curved. What a great adventure!

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  4. What a glorious monastery!
    Amazing library!!!

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  5. No bike ride thank you! The monastery looks like somewhere that you could have spent hours and hours, finding new things round every corner.

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  6. Amazing photos and the picture of the library is wonderful! Thank you!

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  7. Beautiful research library! Good that you could each choose your own activity for the day.

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  8. I would have hooked my arm in yours and stayed in the library! But then we could go for a bike ride the next day, right? heehee! The books are all just amazing and look at the ornate bookcases. I have only a few pages left on my Louise P. book....I'm saving them for tonight before bedtime. Hugs!

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  9. Definitely that was the thing to do! Spectacular.

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  10. I was expecting to see something not as ornate as this for a monastery. I'm glad you opted for the monastery. That library...my heart went pitter patter just seeing the photos. Magnificent.

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  11. Lorrie - I would be with you in the monastery!!! I am glad you told us about the frescoes - I was certainly fooled. That library would also make my heat skip a beat. Can you imagine actually being honored enough to touch and read those books? Thanks for sharing this lovely piece of culture with all of us at Mosaic Monday!

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  12. My choice would definitely have been the same as yours - I like your reasoning - a bike ride can happen anywhere, but there is only one St. Florian's Monastery. The library is an extraordinary work of exquisite design, not only that, but it operates so cleverly too.

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  13. ...all I can say is amazing!

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  14. Monastery... but I too am sure the bike ride has been lovely too.
    Such a beautiful and interesting place!
    Happy autumn to you and yours!

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  15. Hi! The curved shelves are very unique and very convienient too. Your mosaic photo is very cool. Anton Bruckner is very popular in our country. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Monastery! That library!

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  17. So much beauty in all those historic sites.

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  18. I would always choose an art/history tour over a bike ride. How nice that you two would feel free to indulge in your preferences.
    The bookcase doors in the library are just wonderful! As always on your blog, the text is interesting and instructive, and the photographs are beautiful.

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  19. Oh, the Monastery for sure. What a beautiful spot. And that library. I see why your heart did a pitter patter. Oh my! How lovely that your guide gave you unhurried space and time to just be in that exquisite place. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us.

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  20. Definitely the monastery! Wow, that library is beautiful. The whole place looks amazing. What a treat to be able to visit.

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  21. I cannot decide! That library looks amazing!!! But, the weather looks so nice that I may have to be outside on a bike,. (if there were no hills and no wind...hahah)

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  22. Monastery, for sure!

    I'm swooning over the amazing library. Books! Hidden doors! Ladders!

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  23. Monastery for me. Like you I thought the library was amazing. The hidden doors and all of those books, what a treasure trove.

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  24. Hello Lorrie. What a surprise, your blog is still full of charming pictures and smooth text ... and I like your new profile picture, you're prettier than before ....

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  25. The detail of the architecture and the frescoes and painting are amazing, but that library - my heart would have gone pitter-patter too! How wonderful. I've always dreamt of having a dedicated library room in my house. Have a great week and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

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  26. For sure the monastery! What fascinating history. Like you, I would have gasped at seeing that library. It was all very beautiful!

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  27. The curved book shelves reaching high up to the ceiling is so impressive, and the hidden doors are interesting. I'm also attracted by the ornate ceiling of the church. Thanks for sharing.

    Yoko

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  28. I’d be with you and choose the monastery tour, too, Lorrie! I enjoyed seeing your pictures of the gorgeous church and it’s history. I’m glad that Tim loved his bike tour and that you both could trade stories of your day.

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  29. I am late visiting,Laurie! Just beautiful. Those hidden doors are really amazing and all the church history is fascinating. Your 'soul' just feels different in places like that, doesn't it?~
    Have a great weekend - xo Diana

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  30. Such amazing photos , I would love to see this in person! I have missed your posts but I’m back,

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  31. This is wonderful Lorrie ... and you got to take pictures! We were not so lucky at the monastery we visited, nor at a couple of Bishops residences. Thanks for sharing these.... I would have been very happy to stay in that library for awhile, just marveling at the treasures. (And I’m sure I needn’t say which option I would choose!).

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  32. That is quite a church library!! I was thinking that the collection of bones is a sort of library, too, though one can't check them out. But a lot of holiness is represented there, a tangible connection to the cloud of witnesses.

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  33. Love.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  34. A beautiful place, and the library is awesome.

    All the best Jan

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