The history of Austria is closely connected with the history of Melk Abbey. Some of the first rulers of Austria, the margraves Heinrich, Adalbert and Ernst are buried in the collegiate church. Also buried there is the first patron saint of the Babenbergs, St. Koloman, who was the patron saint of the country until the 17th century.
Melk Abbey is one of the most beautiful and largest unified Baroque ensembles in Europe. Its magnificent architecture is known worldwide and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The baroque building (1702 - 1739) on a rock above the Danube is one of the most visited art-historical sites in Austria. The Danube landscape of the Wachau and the architecture of Melk Abbey play together here in a unique and perfect way.
Benedictine monks have lived and worked here in an uninterrupted tradition since 1089, more than 930 years ago. Following the Rule of St. Benedict, they try to implement the ORA ET LABORA ET LEGE (pray and work and learn) in pastoral care (23 parishes are entrusted to the monastery) and education (currently a monastery high school with over 900 students).
Their effort is not to remain stuck in the traditional, but to meet today's requirements on the basis of tradition. Old and new are not only recognizable in the architecture, but can be felt in the daily events. Day after day, more than 900 students carry current, young life through the Stiftspforte. Great efforts are made for their education. The beauty of the building, the Abbey Park with its Baroque pavilion, numerous events and conferences, and the Mass celebrations are experienced by more than half a million visitors each year. The daily prayer and church services give the house a soul.