What else to do when the children are perfectly content to laze about the local pool now that school has ended for the summer? Well, we practicing empty-nesters packed a picnic lunch, filled the Volvo with petrol and pointed ourselves toward the Steiermark province and the monastery in Admont.

The Admont monastery dates to 1074. Its library is the second largest in terms of size in Europe, and the largest in terms of volumes (200.000). And absolutely worth visiting.
The library is relatively young, dating to 1776, and its architecture expressed The Enlightenment quite beautifully.

 

 

A Benedictine priest undertook the restoration of the monastery’s cabinets of curiosities following a fire in the 1800’s. Now the collection is part of the monastery’s natural history museum. While the 80.000 flies in this collection did not faze me, the beetles creeped me out.

 

Another of the priests was also a botanist and devotee of wax fruit models. I guess one can not pray all the time, right?  This was interesting and at the same time a little odd.

After touring the monastery, library and museums we enjoyed our picnic lunch in one of the town parks. The view gussied up our tunafish salad sandwiches rather well.

So much natural beauty surrounding us on the drive home. Thank goodness the roads were not busy, allowing me to stop whenever and wherever to take photos.

From the roadside I could hear the cowbells, but Tony recommended that I not go traipsing across a farmer’s field for a closer peek at the braying bovine. Sometimes he can be a killjoy.

Postcard Steiermark.