Most Beautiful Church in the World!

September 21, 2010

family travel prettiest chuch in Europe, Melk Abbey in Austria

Wow! Talk about bling, I've never seen so much gold leaf in one place. In the last five years of our family world tour and location independent living, we have seen tons of beautiful churches, but this one really stood out. No wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

family travel tips austria Melk abbey 

Austria's Melk Abbey ceiling fresco 

world's most beautiful church in Europe

Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria beautiful church inside

We pick the ornate  church at the Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria's enchanting wine country along the Danube as the prettiest church in the world. Sadly, the photos just can not do it justice, as it is yet another one of those places that must be experienced in person. One learns so much about history through churches and religious buildings. They are meant to humble you and they do!

Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria detail of statue

Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria tips on family travel to avoid crowds 

Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria

Baroque architecture Melk Abbey beautiful details and frescos

Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria

Some call this abbey the world's finest example of Baroque architecture and it is the most visited site in Austria. Many see it by cruise and bus tour with large crowds of people, but we were very fortunate to see it ( including the extraordinary library, marble hall and church) totally alone to really relish the experience.( See our earlier tips on avoiding crowds in high season).  After seeing as much as we have, we do not impress that easily, but this church took our breath away!

Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria famous library

Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria fresco 

Baroque architecture detail

Beautiful Stair details Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria

golden angels Stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) in Austria beautiful church

There is a lot of gold ( from the new world) in Granada's  Cathedral; Istanbul's Ayasofya (Saint Sophia) is amazing; The Basilica of St. Mark in Venice has stunning mosaics; Seville's Cathedral where Columbus is buried is gigantic; Notre Dame is famous, fun and quintessential Gothic; the Prague Cathedrals are filled with music Portugal's Alcobaca Cathedral is serene;  pilgrims go to the famous Santiago de Compostela  ; a Michelangelo is in  Brugge, at the Church of Our Lady St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna is a Gothic masterpiece;  Barcelona's famous Sagrada Familia by Gaudi is unique as is the Mezquita in Cordoba. I've been to  Charters, Winchester Cathedral,  St. Patrick's, the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica and Mont Saint- Michel which are all  classic. I've seen a gorgeous simple rock church in Finland, 5000 year old cave churches filled with Byzantine art in Cappadocia  and beautiful orthodox churches all over Russia including St Basil's Cathedral  in Moscow's Red Square which is awesome.

Thus we were quite surprised that this church was the prettiest in our eyes, although it is hard to say as all are special in their own way. It was all so golden! The money behind church's always amazes me. I'm not even including the stunning mosques that we have seen like the Blue Mosque or other religious buildings in this list. What are your favorite churches and what do you think is the most beautiful?

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Wow! That's amazing. When I see that much gold, it makes me wonder if thieves have ever tried to steal it to melt down. Do they have guards posted?


While I agree that is one beautiful church. I love the simple little white churches found scattered through the American country side to be the ones that beckon me to their doors. We have toured Virginia and Maryland this summer and there are some beautiful almost barren churches that have captured my heart. Their simple box shape, old wooden floors and pews, and wavy old glass windows, with little more than a potbelly stove in the corner fuels my imagination. I often wonder about the prayers that must have been sent up from those pews during the founding of this nation and during the times of war here. I like to think of them as spirit filled places with a true passion for God.


What a gorgeous place. I love your photos, but also understand your comment that you really have to see it with your own eyes.


Such a beautiful place! Thanks for your gorgeous photos bringing back happy memories of when I visited there. The library was my favourite bit... I wish I had a library like that! :)


Jo - Good question! They do have guards there. Can't imagine how much it is worth at today's super high gold prices!


Sheila - Ah yes, I have seen churches like that all over America and in many lands. There are just so many different kinds of beauty!


Thanks Nancie, It is funny how some things just need to be seen in person, eh?


Verity - Glad to hear that! Oh, that library IS divine and we were thrilled to have it all to our selves!


That is a beautiful church, but have you ever seen the Wieliczka salt mine church underground near Krakow, Poland? Look it up and check the facts on how it was made, it's astonishing.
Great post on your church! Never thought of Australia as having grand churches.


nice post i like this ....The Borgund Stave Church in western Norway that dates back to 1180 is a medieval wooden church that’s still intact! Built with vertical

wooden boards and famous for its nail-less construction, this church hence derives the name 'staves'With 4 carved dragon heads sprouting from its rooftop, the Borgund

is a classic example of stave architecture! Its simplicity backed by a fantastic exterior makes the Borgund Stave Church well worth a visit.

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