Abbey park Melk

Model garden, Outdoor adventure


The abbey park with its baroque garden pavilion is an integral part of this Gesamtkunstwerk.

The abbey park with its baroque garden pavilion is an integral part of this gesamtkunstwerk.The garden creates a symmetric symbiosis of the abbey buildings with the outlying complex. The abbey park shows how natural and spiritual elements combine over the span of 250 years to create a unique space always striving to achieve greater beauty in its many different guises. The esthetic gardening movements in the Baroque Era and the English landscape garden serve as role models and were instrumental in shaping this abbey garden. Indeed, they continue to determine its character today. The baroque garden was installed in the 18th c replacing the vineyard and fruit orchard at this location. Its design follows the then prevailing baroque concept of a paradise garden adapted to the topographical conditions of the site.  Today’s abbey park has gained its uniqueness and identity over the centuries from the ever-changing views of and approaches to the art of gardening. Its current appearance was also shaped by economically tough times when there was no money to tend the garden and nature reclaimed and overran the park.  The revitalization of the park over the past 15 years has rendered certain structures visible again. Some date as far back as the Baroque Age. At the first level, all eyes are drawn to the baroque garden pavilion cum café. Following the completion of the monastery, Abbot Thomas Pauer had the baroque pavilion built by Franz Munggenast in 1747 and 1748. Johann Wenzel Bergl added frescoes to the rooms of the pavilion in 1763 and 1764. With his whimsical images, the painter created an exotically inviting place to linger, with exotic animals, intertwining jungle and Indians. The garden pavilion was a place of recreation for the monks in the Baroque Age. Today it houses a self-service café. A variety of roses are planted in front of the pavilion to highlight its beauty with their pink blossoms. A wide range of further varieties of roses bloom along the garden ramp leading to the second level of the abbey park. The second level features winding paths, a fire pit, “talking stones” and a fountain with drinking water carved out of a petrified tree. On the third level is the artery of the garden – the baroque water reservoir surrounded by 250 year old linden trees. A contemporary installation by Christian Philipp Müller called “The New World” can be viewed in the baroque water basin. It is a floating Garden of Eden showcasing only plants that found their way from America to Europe. The efforts to revitalize the abbey park have been underway for 15 years. In a gradual step-by-step process, the various areas of the park have been opened up and made accessible to visitors. Three new accents were added in 2010: Walahfrid Strabo Garden, Jardin meditérraneén and Cabinet clairvoyée. 

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