Adventure on the Danube

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July 5th 2015
Published: July 6th 2015
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We enjoyed a beautiful day on the Danube River exploring the Wachau and Danube Valleys. The scenery was spectacular with the small villages and castle ruins dotting the shoreline as we traveled from Spitz (the famous wine growing town from which 1000 buckets of wine were harvested...1 bucket=56.5 liters) to our final destination the Benedictine Abbey in Melk (winner of the "Best Historic Destination of the World" in 2008).

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Danube RiverDanube River
Danube River

Map of the Danube River from Vienna to Melk
Prinz EugenPrinz Eugen
Prinz Eugen

Our cruise ship along the Danube
Danube - Departure SpitzDanube - Departure Spitz
Danube - Departure Spitz

Departing from the village of Spitz
Danube RiverDanube River
Danube River

The blue Danube against a beautiful blue sky. The Wachau Valley is designated UNESCO World Heritage Site for its architectural and agricultural history. Villages, vineyards, and castle ruins dot the shore.
Danube - sunbathingDanube - sunbathing
Danube - sunbathing

Something they don't mention in the travel brochures are the many sun bathers; suits optional (not to worry, these sun bathers have their suits on!)
Danube - DurnsteinDanube - Durnstein
Danube - Durnstein

The most beautiful Wachau town is legendary Durnstein, with its striking blue church steeple and the ruins of the castle in which King Richard the Lionheart of England was imprisoned and later freed with the help of his loyal minstrel, Blondel
Danube - Schonbuhel MonasteryDanube - Schonbuhel Monastery
Danube - Schonbuhel Monastery

Situated on a rock ledge with two large rocks (Kuh & Kalb - Cow & Calf) in front that are a danger to all vessels passing by
Benedictine Melk AbbeyBenedictine Melk Abbey
Benedictine Melk Abbey

This was once a castle. In 1089, Leopold II of Babenberg (Austrian ruler before the Hapsburgs) gave it to the Benedictine monks. Today, black-robed Benedictine monks still stroll amidst the marble sculptures and frescoed walls.
Abbey Abbey

Stairway leading down to the Abbey

View of the gardens

A magnificent baroque building in the Abbey built in 1702.
Abbey - view from the terrace balconyAbbey - view from the terrace balcony
Abbey - view from the terrace balcony

From the terrace we had a wonderful view of the Danube, the Wachau valley, and the town of Melk. Napoleon used this as a lookout when he used Melk as his headquarters for his campaign against Austria.
Abbey ChurchAbbey Church
Abbey Church

The church has an astonishing number of windows and is richly embellished with marble and frescoes.
Abbey Church - AlterAbbey Church - Alter
Abbey Church - Alter

The meaning of the Melk Abbey Church can be seen in the inscription on the high altar - “Without a legitimate battle there is no victory”. It is most strongly expressed by the monk’s battle for virtue, the theme of the nave fresco, in a depiction of St. Benedict. The victory in this battle is portrayed on the one hand by the large victory crown on the high altar and the dome frescoes, in which the heavens open, and on the other hand by the victor’s laurels over the monk, who has achieved spiritual fulfillment, in the nave fresco.
Abbey Church - AlterAbbey Church - Alter
Abbey Church - Alter

The gold crown is at the top, middle

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