Tuesday, July 28, 2015

St. Florian Monastery

One of the major tourist attractions just outside Linz is the Saint Florian Monastery.

We took a Post Bus (410) from the train station for 3 euro each way. The bus driver spoke English and was very helpful. It takes about 30 minutes and you buy your ticket on the bus.

The entrance gate.

The main building where you buy your entry ticket. I seem to remember it cost 22 euro for the two of us including a short organ recital after the tour.

This building would have been part of the Monastery at one time but now is used as a Fire fighter museum. St Florian is the patron saint of firemen as well as chimney sweeps.

It was about noon and the tour did not start until 1pm so we had lunch at the restaurant.

Marianne had this vegetarian concoction. Apparently delicious.

I had this ragout that was delicious. Lots of paprika.

The tour started. Our guide was a young lady of about 16 who had a very pronounced Austrian accent. They elongate their Ja (yes) and their vowel sounds compared to normal German.

We were given small audio sticks with English commentary.

Much of what we see now was constructed between 1686 and 1751.

Our guide took us from the courtyard into the building. Inside were some modern paintings like this one. To be honest, I can't see the point of them in a museum about old things.

The library.

This is Austria where ceilings like this are common in major buildings.

I suspect these paintings look so fresh because there is very little pollution in this country air.

Secret door to another room.

Top of a table.

Old statue of St Florian.

Next, the Marble Hall which is now used for concerts and receptions.

Our tour group.

Several of the paintings record the victory over the Turks in 1685 in the Battle of Vienna.

We then went into a corridor with some portraits of Kaisers. Leopold I is on the right.

I thought the painting showed him to be a bit of a loser with a wig that looked to big on him. However, it looks like he was an effective ruler with a penchant for playing around.

Just before we came to this lovely enclosed walkway, we were taken into a room of paintings by Albrecht Altdorfer.

Photography was not allowed but you can see some of the paintings here. Although they are about 500 years old, they look like they were painted yesterday.

What lies behind the lovely facades.

The Collegiate Church with its renowned organ built between 1770 and 1774. It is now known as the Bruckner Organ in honour of the composer who used to be the organist here.

Baptismal font.

It is all quite overwhelming but very airy and light.

We then descended to the tomb under the church where the prelates and canons were buried.

Bruckner's tomb, right beneath the organ.

A stack of bones behind Bruckner's tomb comprises the skeletons of over 6000 early Christians.

These figures were also in the tomb but since I don't understand German all that well, I don't know what they represent.

We emerged into a small courtyard. Everything is immaculately kept here. You can even stay here in guest rooms (about 80 euro per night).

The tour ended and we handed back the audio guide. We then wandered back to the Church at the far end of the organ recital.

We passed by some cemeteries. One of them had a memorial to the fallen in both world wars.

One cemetery had grave stones.

The other used flowers.

The organist, Andreas Erlinger, played five pieces including one by Bruckner. I have included a short section of his fugue in D minor (WAB 125). The organ sounded excellent.

I just rested the camera on my stomach so it gets a bit jiggly at the end as I breathe and twitch.

If you would like to hear and see a Bruckner Symphony, here is a video of Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in Symphony No 8 in this church.

On exiting the church we visited a small side chapel.

I really enjoyed the visit that took a bit over an hour.

1 comment:

  1. That library is like the one in Beauty and the Beast!