11 Days in Austria – Melk Abbey and Old City

From Carnuntum Archaeological Park we drove to Melk. Melk is a small city in Lower Austria and it’s best known as the site of a massive baroque Benedictine monastery named Melk Abbey.

Map of the area:

Melk City Walk

We arrived at the city around 17:00. Checked into our hotel and decided to take a walk.

City center with the Abbey in the background:

And on the opposite side of the fountain you can find the Rathaus:
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

At the corner of this plaza you can find this small building:
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

It’s the old bread shop. How old? The turrets date back to the 16th century.

Here Melk’s three bakers sold their bread. In the old age, one of the bakers was allowed to live here and share the income from bread sales.

Melk’s oldest guilds included the bakers (1277), the butchers (1281), the weavers (1340) and the tailors (1433).
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

This building was literally constructed on a rock:
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

Across the river, you can find a small park and also get this view.
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

This is not Danube’s mainstream, but since I haven’t seen another name on the maps I guess it’s considered as the Danube.
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

After a circular route, we returned back to the Rathaus. At this point, we were quite hungry and it looked that both restaurants and stores are closed. But after entering Cafe Rathaus, we found out that it’s still open.
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

The food was quite good and it was a nice ending to our first day in Austria.

A general tip about opening hours especially in small towns: stores usually open at 8 am and close at 17-18pm. Restaurants open up in the morning or closer to lunch. Then close for siesta (from 14/15 till 17) and reopens for dinner till 20. Thus, if you to a small town after 20:00, there is a high chance that you won’t find anything to eat.Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

View from our room:
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

Melk Abbey or Stift Melk

Next morning, after breakfast we started climbing to Stift Melk (official site). 
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

Actually, the road up was neither long nor hard. It took us about 15 minutes to walk there (we left the car at the hotel’s parking).
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

In 2000, UNESCO decided to add Melk Abbey into cultural and natural heritage list.
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

We arrived quite early and the first guided tour was only in 11. Thus we decided not to wait and went by ourselves.Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

You need to pass several courtyards till you get to the museum.
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria
At the entrance to the museum:
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

Unfortunately, photography isn’t allowed anywhere inside. Beside the museum, there is a beautiful church and a beautiful library. But don’t worry, keep following and in several days we will visit Admont Abbey. Its library isn’t worse than this one and photography is allowed there (at additional cost).

View from the back balconies:
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

On the balconies, and straight in front of us is the church.
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

Another view of the city:
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

It took us around two hours to make the inner route. I read that Melk Abbey has beautiful gardens but we haven’t seen an entrance. When I asked the staff it turns out that the gardens were still closed. I can understand that Grossglockner High Alpine Road will be closed in April. There might be still snow and ice on the road. But, why should the gardens be closed on a sunny April day? I guess they open all nature related attractions in May for simplicity.
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria

Thus we started our descent back to the city.
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria
Visiting Melk Abbey and city, Austria
While visiting Austria I created a series of Cinemagraphs, and these were my first two:

To find out more check out Cinemagraphs – Photos with Motion from Austria.

 

Note: all posts from the trip to Austria can be found at 11 Days in Austria.

 

That’s all for today and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

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