Day 4 - Travel to Vienna & a Stop in Melk
Today we traveled to Vienna, and was able to take a break in Melk. There we toured the monastery, which also serves as a high school to children from ages 11 to 18. There are still 30 active monks that belong to this monastery. They are in charge of 23 surround parishes, and 3 of them are teachers at the high school. The grounds were beautiful! This abbey was established by the Hapsburg Empire whom once used the grounds as a residence/ fortress. They moved from the location to live in Vienna, and then founded the monastery. Walking up the grand staircase led to a large portrait of Marie Therese and her husband whom stayed as guests at the abbey. There is an expansive hallway of 600 feet, with 20 rooms lining the walls - three floors of the same design make up 60 rooms created for the use of guests before the times of hotels. Now these rooms have been converted to a museum, which we were able to tour. The grounds, history, stories, libraries, dinning halls, vistas, and baroque church were all stunning. What a great history lesson and feast for the eyes!
After our stop in Melk, it was on to Vienna - not only Austria's capitol city, but also considered the capitol of Europe in many ways. Vienna is quite a contrast to the sleepy little town of Salzburg! Energy, excitement, beautiful & eclectic architecture (including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Neo-classic, neo-gothic, and neo-baroque) sum up some of the first impressions of the city for me.
We are now all in our respective hotels, all checked safely into bed. It is "lights out" for the students, as well as for me!
Stay tuned for more adventures to come in beautiful and exciting Vienna!
Photos from Musikverein, Vienna, and Esterhazy Palace