Viking River Cruise, Day 6, Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This morning is sunny and pleasant. We woke again at 7am, ate breakfast, and then sat up on the front deck to watch the scenery on our route to Melk.

Also along the route was this May Pole and a castle.

We arrived at Melk around 11am, ate lunch at 11:30am, and then took a short walk to meet the bus that would take us up to the Melk Abbey. The bus ride was a short 15 minute ride up to the top of the foothills where the abbey is located.

The abbey was built between 1702 and 1736 as a royal palace. It has ceremonial grounds, libraries, guest rooms, great halls, gardens, and a church. The palace was presented to the black robed Benedictine monks by Leopold II of Babenberg during the 11th century to use as an abbey. The abbey is still in use today and 16 Benedictine monks reside in the abbey. The bulk of the abbey is used as a school with over 700 students.

We entered the abbey grounds through a gateway into a large courtyard which were the ceremonial grounds when the abbey was a palace.

Our guide met us and took us to the second floor of the of thee abbey and were given a tour of the relics and antiquities of the abbey. They included  sections of the abbey’s original flooring, hand written bibles, chalices, vestments, alters, and a model of the abbey.

The statues which were gold leaf plated were actually wooden. You can see it in the statue reflection in the mirror in one of the photos.

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The ceilings throughout the abbey were painted in frescoes.

The tour then moved to the terrace which gave us a vista of the surrounding area.

The tour then proceeded into the library which the guide said contained 80,000 ancient manuscripts. No photography was allowed in the library. At the library, the guided tour ended.

We then went into the Abbey Church, also known as, the Stiftskirche. There we were allowed photos and these are some that we took.

After we left the abbey, we once again boarded a bus which took us back to our ship. We cast off for our next destination Passau, the gateway to our Salzburg tour. These are some of the vistas that we passed along the way.

We had dinner and afterward Babs wanted to have a Manhattan and join in on a group playing musical trivia. It was a game of music trivia and dancing for extra points. It was a blast!

Tomorrow we will join the Salzburg tour courtesy to the generosity of our wonderful children.
Babs Says: If those Benedictine monks were trying to show what heaven looks like by gold plating everything, they must have thought God was a very materialistic being.

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