A brief postscript from Grein. I went down into the kitchen around 7.30 to pay my account and my grandmotherly hostess was baking “strudel”!- rolling out the pastry.

My penultimate overnight stop before Vienna. Melk is similar to Ypps but is tainted by tourists. I am the first to admit that I am one of course. I arrived by bike. The tourists I refer to are literally boat loads of, I suspect, Americans who travel on the Danube by luxury boat from Vienna disembark at Melk for frenetic shopping, a brief guided tour of the Abbey, then back to Vienna all in a painless day.

Melk is still worth the visit for it has one of the largest and most beautiful Baroque Abbeys in all of Christendom. Indeed the whole complex is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. It’s best described as the religious answer to the Palace of Versailles. Or, as it is perched on the flat top of a huge hill, “Versailles on Stilts”. Indeed all the King Louis’ of France have nothing on the Benedict Monks and their Abbey complex in Melk on the Danube.

Unusually one is permitted photography without flash in all areas, other than the library- which is a wondrous room as I am sure you could envisage. The other noteworthy space is the Marble Room.

In his well-known novel The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco named one of the protagonists “Adson von Melk” as a tribute to the abbey and its famous library.

Benedict Monks have occupied the monastery and abbey complex since 1088 and they are still in residence… All three of them!


I had to include this picture of the bathroom at the Cafe and Restaurant zum Fursten. My colleagues will immediately share my concern that I had developed the Charles Bonnet Syndrome.



Two photos of the first quadrangle of the Abbey.


One of the cloisters!


Exterior of the Abbey Chapel.


Interior of the church.


The Marble Room


The Marble Room



A small part of the gardens and Pavilion.


The Abbey looking up from the street in downtown Melk.