It's been a very full weekend. On Saturday, our friends Scott and Simone were married here at the Kartause (as were Nate and Amanda back home - congrats to you both); on Sunday, little Sofia Terezia (daughter of one of our Byzantine priests) was baptized. After the celebratory agape we said goodbye to some dear friends (sniff), and then headed off on a miniature pilgrimage with some of the other Summer workers.
[N.B. at the prompting of a certain sister, we've finally began to add some more picture albums to the sidebar.]
First stop: the Minor Basilica Maria Taferl. Outside there is still standing an ancient celtic stone of sacrifice, upon which Elijah decided to place Maria. She doesn't look very happy about it, though. Smart girl.
The next picture is of the Basilica itself, which is a typical Austrian baroque church containing a miraculous pieta statue. It is on account of this statue that Maria Taferl is the second biggest pilgrimage destination in Austria after Mariazell.
Next, we made a visit to the nearby Schloss Artstetten, one time home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the thrones of Austria and Hungary before his assasination kicked off the First World War. I think it is his great-granddaughter who now owns the place. Here we are on the porch.
We took the Romantikstrasse towards Melk, and pulled off the road to check out some castle ruins. We didn't get very far before running into a locked gate, but we got a nice view of Melk just down the Danube river.
Finally, Stift Melk itself. We managed to peek inside the truly impressive baroque church, but sadly the terrase overlooking the Danube was closed. This picture was taken from one of the town ice cream shops below.