Melk, Austria - Home of the Melk Benedictine Abbey

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    Viking River Cruises' Viking Spirit in Melk, Austria

    Viking River Cruises' Viking Spirit in Melk, Austria
    ••• Danube River Cruises Include Tour of Melk Abbey Viking River Cruises' Viking Spirit in Melk, Austria. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    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...MORE 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.

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    Stairway to Melk Abbey from Parking Lot

    Stairway to Melk Abbey from Parking Lot
    ••• Visitors to Melk Abbey Must Walk Down These Steps from Parking Lot Stairway to Melk Abbey from Parking Lot. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Melk Abbey in Melk, Austria

    Melk Abbey in Melk, Austria
    ••• Melk Abbey Exterior Redone in Baroque Style in 18th Century Melk Abbey in Melk, Austria. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Melk Abbey

    Melk Abbey
    ••• Ochre-Colored Melk Abbey Was Rebuilt in Baroque Style in 18th Century Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Melk Abbey Courtyard

    Melk Abbey Courtyard
    ••• Fountain and Courtyard of Public Buildings at Melk Abbey Melk Abbey Courtyard. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    The Melk Abbey has several courtyards such as this one near the entrance that is open to the public.

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    Melk Abbey Staircase

    Melk Abbey Staircase
    ••• Staircase at Melk Abbey Resembles Those in Grand European Palaces Melk Abbey Staircase. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Melk Abbey Passageway

    Melk Abbey
    ••• Quiet Melk Abbey Has Many Peaceful Passageways Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Model of Melk Abbey Demonstrates Size of Benedictine Abbey Complex

    Model of Melk Abbey
    ••• Melk Abbey Interior Has Several Rooms Open to Public Tours Model of Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Melk Abbey

    Melk Abbey
    ••• Quiet Melk Abbey Has Many Peaceful Passageways Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Large Reception Room at Melk Abbey

    Large Reception Room at Melk Abbey
    ••• Baroque-Style Reception Room Looks Like Ballroom Large Reception Room at Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Reception Room Pillars at Melk Abbey

    Reception Room Pillars at Melk Abbey
    ••• Baroque-Style Reception Room Looks Like Ballroom Reception Room Pillars at Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    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).

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    Reception Room Pillars at Melk Abbey

    Reception Room Pillars at Melk Abbey
    ••• Ornate Rooms of Melk Abbey Are Spectacular Reception Room Pillars at Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    Sometimes it is important to use a camera or binoculars to zoom in on artwork near the ceilings such as that topping these pillars.

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    Library at Melk Abbey

    Library at Melk Abbey
    ••• Massive Melk Abbey Library Has Over 100,000 Volumes in Collection Library at Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Melk Abbey Interior

    Interior of Church at Melk Abbey
    ••• Ornate Interior of Melk Abbey Is Covered in Gold Leaf Interior of Church at Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Saint Skeleton at Melk Abbey Church

    Saint Skeleton at Melk Abbey Church
    ••• Skeltons of Two Saints Are Exhibited in Melk Abbey Church Saint Skeleton at Melk Abbey Church. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Saint Skeleton at Melk Abbey Church

    Saint Skeleton at Melk Abbey Church
    ••• Skeltons of Two Saints Are Exhibited in Melk Abbey Church Saint Skeleton at Melk Abbey Church. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Melk Abbey Grounds and Gardens

    Melk Abbey Grounds and Gardens
    ••• Tour of Area Surrounding the Melk Abbey in Melk, Austria Melk Abbey Grounds and Gardens. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Melk Abbey Grounds

    Melk Abbey Grounds
    ••• Lovely Gardens and Grounds of Melk Abbey Melk Abbey Grounds. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Melk, Austria

    Melk, Austria
    ••• Town of Melk Is Quaint and Picturesque Melk, Austria. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    View of Melk, Austria from the Melk Abbey

    View of Melk, Austria from the Melk Abbey
    ••• Melk Is Picturesque Town on the Danube River View of Melk, Austria from the Melk Abbey. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison
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    Flooded Melk Summer Amphitheater at Melk, Austria

    Flooded Melk Summer Amphitheater at Melk, Austria
    ••• Melk Is Home to Melk Benedictine Abbey Flooded Melk Summer Amphitheater at Melk, Austria. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    The Danube River flooded the summer amphitheater the day before it was set to open for the summer season. What a mess!

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    Flooded Danube River in Melk, Austria

    Flooded Danube River in Melk, Austria
    ••• Disadvantage of Living on the River - Floods! Flooded Danube River in Melk, Austria. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    The Danube River usually stays within its banks; however, it sometimes floods small towns such as lovely Melk.

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    Danube River near Melk, Austria

    Danube River near Melk, Austria
    ••• Melk Is Home to Melk Benedictine Abbey Danube River near Melk, Austria. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Flooded Danube River at Melk, Austria

    Flooded Danube River at Melk, Austria
    ••• Melk Is Home to Melk Benedictine Abbey Flooded Danube River at Melk, Austria. Melk, Austria (c) Linda Garrison

    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.