The church is decorated in what Joyce called “baroque excess.” Everything’s quite beautiful – but there is too much of it. For those of us who are not Catholics, and who have a very different experience of what churches are like, I’ve found that it helps if you think of it more as an art museum than as a church. As art, it’s quite beautiful, and photogenic.
After a short visit, we came out of the church and across the courtyard to look down on the river valley and the town of Krems: an impressive view.
This is the abbey church, the focal point of the community. Our guide pointed out that the church was never finished. A large central tower was intended to be built between the two clock towers. And the clock tower on the right doesn’t even have a clock on it! It was too expensive, so they painted a clock face in its place.
In a Catholic cathedral, the pipe organ is almost always placed in a balcony above the main entrance, so that worshipers in the pews are seated facing away from it. This makes for great sound that fills the room. This one is especially ornate, with lots of gold decor and little chubby angels playing instruments. Note also the beautiful stucco molding all around, and the colorful ceiling.
Many 16th and 17th-century baroque churches feature extensive stucco molding. It was done with plaster, and as you can see it can be extremely detailed and artistic. There is a lot of stucco art in the Krems abbey church, and it is very attractive.
A closeup of one of the sections of the altar. This is on the right side, in the middle. It’s worth zooming in to see the detail – quite beautiful!
I found this guy in a corner of the organ loft. I don’t think it’s Gabriel, but it’s definitely baroque.