Melk and the Amazing AbbeyAugust 31, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C
The weather is still hot, hot, hot. But that is supposed to change over the next few days; snow is forecast for Zermatt by the time we get there in a week.
We began the day in Vienna with a morning stroll (quick trot) to the Schloss Belvedere Gardens. Those Hapsburgs sure knew how to spend money!
We then found our way, with all our bags, to the main train station for a 12:30pm train to Melk. The first 25 minutes of the trip were on an express train which reached speeds of 225 km/hr. That sure as heck beats the Via Rail train to Toronto! We were in Melk and checked into our hotel before 3pm.
Melk is best known for the Stift Melk, a Benedictine Abbey founded in 1089 when Leopold II gave the monks one of his castles (nice to have castles to give away). The present structure was built in 1702. It’s big - about 500 rooms and 1300 windows - and slathered in ornate decoration. The library holds about 100,000 volumes - some dating back to the 9thC. Due to a fear of fire, there is no heating in the library. Last year, 550,000 people visited Melk. The Abbey is also home to a co-ed secondary day school for 900 students of the region.
The town of Melk is cute as a button, with winding cobbled streets and alleys. Good beer and good food.
Tomorrow, we are off to Innsbruck.Read more