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Published: August 29th 2017
Mike the Knight
alias Jim at the entrance to Burg Aggstein. The castle offers a great view of the Wachau Valley.
Geo: 48.2271, 15.3296
First stop for the day was to visit Melk Abbey. We had a personal guided tour of the Abbey in English, being the only English speaking tourists at that time. The guide was very knowledgeable.
After morning tea in Melk, we drove towards Krems alongside the River Danube, through the Wachau Valley.
We stopped off at Burg Aggstein, a castle built in the early part of the 12th century. The castle was built by the Kuenringer family by Manegold III Aggsbach Getbeen. Its notoriety was due to the "robber barons" of Burg Aggstein who exacted tolls from passing ships and imprisoned their rivals for ransom and tied them to a rock ledge, all the time threatening to kill them by throwing them into the gorge. The castle was built about 91 metres above the river bank on a 46 metre rock ledge. The castle was besieged during the revolt of the Austrian nobility in 1295/1296. Kuenringer Leutold occupied the castle from 1348 to 1355 and then it fell into disrepair. The audio guide gave a detailed history of this infamous castle.
We then drove up to Gottweig Abbey, which was founded as a monastery by the Bishop of Passua in
1072. Both Melk and Gottweig Abbeys are in the Benedictine Order.
We then drove back towards Emmerdorf on the other side of the Danube River, stopping off at Durnstein, where the Blue Church and Durnstein Castle are located. After walking through this very old town, we drove back to Emmersdorf.
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