Posted in:

The captivating splendour of Melk Abbey

© by Niederösterreich Werbung / Michael Liebert

The Benedictine Melk Abbey overlooking the Danube is an impressive place. Not only the stunning Baroque architecture but also its 1000-year history attracts numerous visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage site every year.

The small-town of Melk by the Danube receives tens of thousands of visitors each year who come to see the huge Melk Abbey. Regardless of whether you arrive at Melk Abbey by land or water, you cannot avoid being mightily impressed by the grande splendour of the monestary.

1000-year history

Melk was for the first time mentioned in written sources in the year 831. The Babenberg family (which ruled Austria before the Habsburgs) built a castle on the cliff where the monastery is located today around 980. In the year 1089 the first monks found their way to Melk in Lower Austria and set up a monastery in the old castle, which was given to them by Count Leopold II. The baroque architecture you see today dates from the first half of the 18th century.

Spiritual and material riches

An extraordinary experience is the daily Benedictine prayer session, that takes place from April 1 to October 31, where visitors can also attend. Furthermore, we recommend the exhibitions showing the monastery’s treasury, archives and library that gives you an insight into the life of the clergy back to the monastery’s early beginnings.

Click on the images to enlarge >>

Antique writings and marvellous frescos

Definitely make time to see the magnificent abbey from the inside as well. During the period April – November, the monastery is open to the public with or without a guide. The tour takes approx. 1 hour and costs € 14,50 (€ 12,50 without guide). On a tour you can admire the fabulous library with more than 100,000 volumes containing very old and rare religious writings. Moreover, the exhibits are not only about the religious history, but also hosts many great works of art. The frescoes you find all around the monastery will surely take your breath away. Hence, don’t forget to look up at the roof when you wander through.

Abbey Park

The large beautiful park makes up a large part of the extensive monastery facility. Originally designed as a baroque park in 1750 and in 1822 it was replanted as an English landscape garden. Visit the Garden of Paradise where fragrant, medicinal or flowering grows all year round, that have been planted according to plans by Walafrid Strabo (9th century). The park and pavilions were used by the monks for meditation and a place to relax. Today, most of the park is publicly available. You also can visit only the monastery park for and just pay only entrance to the park.

Advertisement

The small-town Melk

Although it is undeniably the abbey that is the main tourist magnet, do not forget to take a stroll in Melk itself. The small town at the foot of the monastery is a nice place where you easily can spend an hour or three. The small pedestrian zone between Hauptplatz and Rathausplatz takes you past the oldest parts of Melk. At the Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square) you will find the Kolomanibrunnen (well) from 1687. In Linzer Strasse you can also find many fine historic buildings. There are plenty of eateries and café’s around as well.

For more info: Melk Abbey & Melk Town

Also check out these destinations nearby:

  • Dürnstein, Lower Austria, Austria

    Posted in:

    Dürnstein – a fairy-tale town by the Danube

    Dürnstein is as taken out of a medieval novel. Dürnstein clings on narrow strip on the north bank of the Danube in Lower Austria. The small town has taken its name from the castle which occupies the cliffs above. The town is luckily much better preserved than the castle, which today only consist of a […]

    Read more

  • Aggstein Castle, Lower Austria, Austria

    Posted in:

    Aggstein castle by the Danube

    Although Aggstein Castle is only partly restored it offers you an insight to life in the Middle Ages. Furthermore, the fantastic views of one of the mightiest rivers in Europe, the Danube, also makes it well worth the trip up the mountain. Most parts of the castle are open to visitors. Wooden stairs and walkways […]

    Read more

  • Wachau, Lower Austria

    Posted in:

    Wine, culinary delights and nature in Wachau

    The Wachau takes up a 33 kilometre (20 mile) stretch of the Danube between Melk and Krems in Upper Austria. The unique blend of picturesque villages, river landscape, history, culture and regional delicatessen are main attractions. The mild climate, geology and good soil makes Wachau into one of the prime wine districts of Austria. The […]

    Read more

  • weekend in vienna, Austria

    Posted in:

    A weekend in Vienna

    A list of suggestions on what to do in a weekend in Vienna could easily have been in triple digits. However, we have collected a few places and sights in Vienna to show you the variety available. Moreover, which should be suitable for most people, not matter age. These suggestions are not mere tourist traps, […]

    Read more

Advertisements

Share, , Google Plus, Pinterest,

Written by Ana Lucia Marcos

Ana Lucia Marcos

Ana Lucia has traveled the world, but fell completely in love with Austria. She loves the dramatic mountain landscape, the phototastiske lakes and the captivating castles. Moreover, a real Wienerschnitzel is always on the menu when she explores the alpine country.