So here is a place on the banks of the Danube whose earliest settlements are rooted in the mist of fable, and whose Christian monastic community pre-dates recorded memory. Age after age, the Christian monks lived, prayed, worked, through the days of Charlemagne, the Babenbergs, the Hapsburgs, Napoleon, Joseph II, Franz Joseph, and the two World Wars.
And now, the buildings stand as a memory of all that time . . . and yet the small but vibrant monastic community still lives, prays, and works, now at a wonderful school that forms young people in Christian and humanistic education, with an emphasis on the arts.
One of the graduates of that school was our guide at Melk. She said, "And now, at the climax of our tour, we visit the Abbey Church, which is where it should be, at the heart and center of the community."
And the interior of that Church expressed the desire of the builders and artists to display the Beauty of God in the sensual material of earth.