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My Travel Minute - see this famous 13th century Benedictine Abbey on a Danube river cruise

On January 2023 river cruise we sailed with Kristin, the co-owner of AMA cruise line down the Danube river from Munich to Budapest. One stop was Melk Abbey, also known as Stift Melk, a magnificent Benedictine abbey located in the town of Melk in Lower Austria. Situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube River, Melk Abbey is one of the most famous monastic sites in the world and a prominent example of Baroque architecture. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. I strongly recommend that you visit this amazing site. Usually only upscale river cruise lines include this Abbey in their regular cruise price without any additional cost.

The history of Melk Abbey dates back to the 11th century when Leopold II, Margrave of Austria, founded a Benedictine monastery on the site. Over the centuries, the abbey underwent several reconstructions and expansions. The most significant transformation occurred in the early 18th century under the leadership of Abbot Berthold Dietmayr, who commissioned the renowned architect Jakob Prandtauer to rebuild the abbey in the Baroque style.

The abbey complex encompasses a grand abbey church, the monastic buildings, and a vast library. The abbey church is a stunning masterpiece of Baroque architecture, with its imposing façade, intricate stuccowork, and splendid frescoes. The interior is equally impressive, adorned with ornate altars, marble sculptures, and a magnificent organ.

The monastic buildings of Melk Abbey include the abbey courtyard, the imperial staircase, and the Imperial Apartments. The courtyard features a beautiful garden and provides access to various parts of the abbey. The Imperial Apartments served as the residence for the Austrian Emperor during his visits to Melk.

One of the highlights of Melk Abbey is its library, which contains an extensive collection of ancient manuscripts, books, and artworks. The library's most famous room, the Emperor's Gallery, is adorned with exquisite frescoes depicting the Habsburg rulers and their achievements.

In addition to its architectural and artistic splendor, Melk Abbey has played an important role in education and cultural preservation. It has a long tradition of scholarly pursuits and houses a prestigious school. The abbey also operates a museum that displays artifacts related to the abbey's history, including religious objects, manuscripts, and artworks.

Today, Melk Abbey continues to be an active Benedictine monastery and welcomes visitors from around the world. Its breathtaking beauty, historical significance, and serene location make it a popular destination for tourists, scholars, and those seeking spiritual retreat. A visit to Melk Abbey offers a glimpse into the rich cultural and religious heritage of Austria and a chance to appreciate the grandeur of Baroque architecture.

If you want to know more about a Danube river cruise, the Abbey or any other Europe river cruise please call me at 800-684-3260 ext 205. River cruises and Exploration cruising is our



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