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Viking River Cruises' Viking Spirit in Melk, Austria
Charming Town on the Danube River in Austria
Melk is a Danube River town in Austria, home to a marvelous Benedictine Abbey that sits on a steep hill overlooking the town. This Benedictine abbey was founded in 1089, and Melk has been a cultural and spiritual center of Austria ever since. Monks have continually lived and worked in the Melk Abbey for over 900 years, despite the building having been rebuilt numerous times. Near the beginning of the 18th century, the ochre-colored Melk Abbey was completely reconstructed in the Baroque style, with quiet arched passageways, large courtyards, and the monks' residences, a school, and ornate church inside.
A tour of the Melk Abbey is included on Danube River cruises. Buses carry passengers to the top of the abbey hill, and a guided tour of the rooms and artwork is included. The large reception room and library are particularly impressive. Rather than return to the ship on the bus, most passengers walk the short distance down the hill to... explore Melk before strolling back to their ship.
River cruises sailing the Danube River always stopover in Melk near the Wachau Valley of Austria to allow guests to tour the Melk Abbey.Continue to 2 of 24 below.
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Stairway to Melk Abbey from Parking Lot
These steps lead down to the Melk Abbey. However, cruise visitors must walk up the steps to reboard the bus or walk down through the town to the ship.Continue to 3 of 24 below.
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Melk Abbey in Melk, AustriaContinue to 4 of 24 below.
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Melk AbbeyContinue to 5 of 24 below.
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Melk Abbey Courtyard
The Melk Abbey has several courtyards such as this one near the entrance that is open to the public.Continue to 6 of 24 below.
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Melk Abbey StaircaseContinue to 7 of 24 below.
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Melk Abbey PassagewayContinue to 8 of 24 below.
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Model of Melk Abbey Demonstrates Size of Benedictine Abbey Complex
Some of the interior rooms at the Melk Abbey have exhibits of jewelry, religious vestments, and artwork. This model of the abbey shows the size of the complex.Continue to 9 of 24 below.
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Melk AbbeyContinue to 10 of 24 below.
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Large Reception Room at Melk AbbeyContinue to 11 of 24 below.
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Reception Room Pillars at Melk Abbey
If the Melk Abbey were a palace rather than a religious facility, this room would be perfect as a ballroom. Instead, it is used to receptions (but no dancing).Continue to 12 of 24 below.
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Reception Room Pillars at Melk Abbey
Sometimes it is important to use a camera or binoculars to zoom in on artwork near the ceilings such as that topping these pillars.Continue to 13 of 24 below.
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Library at Melk AbbeyContinue to 14 of 24 below.
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Melk Abbey InteriorContinue to 15 of 24 below.
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Saint Skeleton at Melk Abbey ChurchContinue to 16 of 24 below.
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Saint Skeleton at Melk Abbey ChurchContinue to 17 of 24 below.
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Melk Abbey Grounds and GardensContinue to 18 of 24 below.
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Melk Abbey GroundsContinue to 19 of 24 below.
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Melk, AustriaContinue to 20 of 24 below.
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View of Melk, Austria from the Melk AbbeyContinue to 21 of 24 below.
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Flooded Melk Summer Amphitheater at Melk, Austria
The Danube River flooded the summer amphitheater the day before it was set to open for the summer season. What a mess!Continue to 22 of 24 below.
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Flooded Danube River in Melk, Austria
The Danube River usually stays within its banks; however, it sometimes floods small towns such as lovely Melk.Continue to 23 of 24 below.
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Danube River near Melk, Austria
Photo of the Danube River at Melk, taken in October. Note how quiet and lovely the river is compared to the next photo, taken when it was flooded.Continue to 24 of 24 below.
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Flooded Danube River at Melk, Austria
The same view from the Melk Abbey as the previous photo, except the Danube River is flooded and muddy.
Since the Danube River was closed to river traffic because of the flooding and high water, cruise passengers were bused to Melk from Vienna.