While your cruise takes you down some beautiful European rivers with towns equally astonishing, you will most probably find your way to Melk, a small town in Austria by the banks of Danube River not too far from Wachau Valley. Melk, even though small with a population of just under six thousand citizens has few attractions that will take your breath away and is definitely worth your time.
It will only take you 15 minutes to walk from one side of the town to another, so there is no getting lost in Melk’s cobbled streets! The Old Town Melk has its little gems, walk through its streets and marvel the Town Hall Square (Rathausplatz) and the actual building of the Town Hall. While you find yourself capturing the beauty of Rathausplatz, keep an eye out for the House for Itinerants built in 1657 with its beautiful painted windows. Continue your walk down the Main Square (Hauptplatz) and discover the small but dazzling streets Kremser Strasse where you can visit the Nibelungen Memorial Tablet (Nibelungen-Gedenktafel) and Linzer Strasse where you will find the old post office of Melk built in 1792 which is now turned into a lovely local museum.
It would almost be a crime if you visited Melk and skipped its monastery, Stift Melk also referred to as Benediktinerstift Melk which lies high atop a hill with breath-taking views of the Old Town and Danube River. Built by Abbot Berthold Dietmayr and his architects Jakob Prandtauer and Joseph Munggenast between 1701 and 1736, the monastery features a library with over 80,000 individual volumes some of them extremely valuable and the library itself has a ceiling fresco by Paul Troger. The library, even though fascinating, is not the first point of attraction here, the abbey itself is what will leave you speechless. Marvel its interior and its Imperial Staircase (Kaiserstiege)- designed by Antonio Beduzzi- the Imperial Rooms (Keiserzimmer) which are now home to the abbey’s museum. As you walk down the corridors you will come across the 196 meter long Imperial Corridor (Kaisergang) which is filled with portraits of Austria’s rulers so take some time to dive in Austria’s political history and admire the paintings.
Melk is a town where emporium flourished and dates back to 1227, it may be small but don’t judge it from its size- this gem is definitely going to dazzle you. So if your cruise takes you down to Melk, dedicate few hours to discover its history and marvel its beauty.