2022

Day 14 – Saint Florian and Anton Bruckner

Saint Pantaleon to Saint Florian, 21Km

Augustiner Chorherrenstift St. Florian, 60 euros (that’s the St Augustine Monastery)

Today’s destination looms large in the itinerary of my walk across Austria so there was no loitering. I rushed through breakfast in just 45 minutes, paid my bill and stamped my pilgrim credential then set off towards Enns, the oldest town in Austria. Here, on the historic town square I briefly stopped for a very satisfying cappuccino. The lady tried to tempt me with a cake but I already had supplies from breakfast (the innkeeper insisted I make a packed lunch for my journey). She asked about my walk and said she’d never heard of anyone walking across Austria before. Was I sure I didn’t want a slice of cake?

I religiously followed the Austrian Camino all the way because there were no hills and little countryside between the two towns and the roads would have been dangerous even in a car. During the walk I crossed from Lower to Upper Austria and had my first view of the Alps, to the south.

Today’s destination is the Augustinian monastery of St Florian and burial place of the 4th century martyr and patron saint of Upper Austria. I emailed them last night and secured the last room. Monasteries have a long tradition of providing hospitality to pilgrims but it’s difficult to stay at the moment due to the refugee crisis and Covid so I was really delighted to secure a place. And especially here because this monastery was also the home of Anton Bruckner, one of my favorite composers. He was born just 6Km away, played the huge 18th century organ in the basilica and now lies in the crypt just below it.

I discovered Bruckner while working my way through the alphabet in the local library’s gramophone room. He’s only recently become popular in Britain. Even in the 1990s, I’d go to the Proms for a Bruckner symphony only to fear it had been cancelled as there was no one there. But nowadays you have to book well in advance. He was working on the finale of his 9th symphony on the morning of his death and never finished it. Friends and relatives took the fragments of the score for souvenirs so now as you listen to the third movement fade away you can only wonder what was coming next.

This afternoon I was alone in the crypt by the great composer’s coffin, a special moment.

First view of the Alps
Entering Upper Austria this morning
The Enns town square
Impressive monastery
Monastery library, part of. 150k books
The Marble room, much used by the Emperor
The Bruckner organ
Skulls through the ages in the crypt
My austere quarters in the Monastery

8 comments on “Day 14 – Saint Florian and Anton Bruckner

  1. Margot Knight

    Hi Tim

    I’m on day 8 of the Robert ZLouis Stevenson trail in France – it’s lovely to follow all your pilgrimages.
    This is not a pilgrimage but a stunning voyage in France again.
    Perhaps one day again !! Love Margot from Australia

    • Hi Margot, how good to hear from you and back in France too. I’ve read the RLS book. Have you got a donkey? It’s a special journey, your one. I hope you’re writing a screenplay about it. Let’s have lots of updates please.

  2. Margot Knight

    Hi Tim

    I’m on day 8 of the Robert Louis Stevenson trail in France – it’s lovely to follow all your pilgrimages.
    This is not a pilgrimage but a stunning voyage in France again.
    Perhaps one day again !! Love Margot from Australia

  3. Your “austere quarters” in the monastery look much nicer than many of the albergues i stayed at along the Camino Frances. 😉

    The scenery and architecture are stunning. Getting excited for my trip to Germany and Austria in the fall.

    • Yes for sure but I’d rather pay 10 euros and take the last bunk in a dorm of 40. Latecomers on mattresses on the floor …
      This is a fab part of the world for a trip. Don’t let me put you off!

    • But bring shower gel!

  4. Lynn Gee

    Enjoying your journey and wonderful photos. And those majestic alps……..!!

    • The Alps are getting ever closer. Hopefully there’ll be emmental cheese and perhaps even a fondue

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