Wien, part VI – Stift Melk and Dürnstein

Stift Melk (Melk Abbey) is an Austrian Benedictine abbey, and one of the world's most famous moneasteries. The abbey was founded in 1089 when Leopold II, Margrave of Austria gave one of his castles to Benedictine monks from Lambach Abbey. Today's impressive baroque abbey was built between 1702 and 1736.
This is a view from a main street of Melk:

One part of this impressive abbey left me breathless. I suppose all of you have heard for Umberto Eco and his novel The Name of the Rose. One of the characters from a book and also from a movie (starring Sean Conerry) was Adso of Melk, as a tribute for the abbey and its library. And this is it:

I just stood there, amazed. Then I grabbed my camera 😀
A school was founded in the 12th Century, and the monastic library soon became renowned for its extensive manuscript collection. The monastery was also a major site for the production of manuscripts. If you take a closer look you will see a small door on the shelf with books – behind there is a small room where manuscripts were made.

The area around Melk was given to Margrave Leopold I in the year 976 to serve as a buffer between the Turks and Huns to east and Bavaria to the west. In 996 mention was first made of an area known as Ostarichi – which is recognized as the origin of the word Oesterreich (German for Austria).

Maybe some of you haven`t heard for Umberto Eco and his novel but I suppose a lot of you are familiar with Richard The Lionhart, king of England who lived from 1157 till 1199. On his way back from Third Crusade War (in 1193), Duke Leopold V of Austria captured him in a castle above the Dürnstein, a small town in Lower Austria.
A castle was almost totaly destroyed by the Swedes in 1645. and tody it looks like this:

There is a steep path that leads from a town to the remnants of castle and there is a beautiful view to a Dunav (Danube river, Donau), surrounding hills with vineyards and town itself. I was surprised to see how fast and strong river is there, very narrow at he same time, unlike what we have here in Zemun 😀

More photographs about melk and Dürnstein in my photo album. I will add more photos when I got them all checked 😀

This is my last post about trip to Vienna. It is possible though, that in some later post I use photographs or some interesting story connected to it. I hope you enjoyed reading, despite my terrible sentence constructions 😛

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55 Responses to Wien, part VI – Stift Melk and Dürnstein

  1. Dacotah says:

    You are welcome Darko. I hope it will be ok right now. 😀

  2. Dacotah says:

    *hugs* Sorry you are not :happy: at the moment Darko. *hugs*

  3. Dacotah says:

    🙂 I can see why. Great places to see. Great photos. 🙂

  4. gdare says:

    Thanks Carol. I really enjoyed time I spent in Austria. I hope I will be able to go there again and to see some more interesiting sites 🙂

  5. gdare says:

    Thanks Carol. One of the unpleasant life surprises. Eventually I will be ok 🙂

  6. Dacotah says:

    WOW, great post Darko. :up:

  7. ricewood says:

    I did enjoy you Vienna-report. Indeed I did.Thanx

  8. gdare says:

    Carol – thank youAlan – I really tried to make them interested; now I will have to wait to return from Japan; unfortunately, I will not be there as a tourist but I already know that there will be organized visit to Aizu-wakamatsu town, the central town of medieval Aizu samurai clan :happy:

  9. attilasoul says:

    Interesting post. :up:I need to see the Name of the Rose again soon!

  10. gdare says:

    Tilla – thank you; after my visit to Melk I`ve found a book in a shelf at my friend`s appartment and start reading it (again); unfortunately, I left Vienna before I finished it 🙂

  11. Cois says:

    Nice post.. Never heard of Umberto Eco before.. :p great pics by the way.. :up:

  12. gdare says:

    Thank you Clint. You should find that book and read it. Or maybe to rent a movie, it is much easier 😀

  13. Cois says:

    :p will have to.. Will check if one of the libraries have it but I'm doubtfull..

  14. gdare says:

    I can buy it here and mail it to you…. if you can read Serbian :whistle:

  15. SittingFox says:

    I thought that castle ruin was a kind of natural karst formation at first glance! :eyes: Thanks for another interesting post. The library is just stunning.

  16. gdare says:

    You are welcome Adele 🙂

  17. Cois says:

    Sure I can read Serbian.. 😆 its a required subject in South African schools.. 😆

  18. nopanic says:

    Great stories and wonderful sites Darko :up: 🙂

  19. gdare says:

    Thank you Nik. I will go now to read your new, drinking, post 😀

  20. nopanic says:


  21. gdare says:


  22. Abbacus says:

    Very interesting and, all-around cool post! Thanks! 🙂

  23. gdare says:

    Abbacus – thank you :happy:Eric – it is forbidden to even touch a books, there are guards and security cameras all around; also, I suppose that most valuable books and manuscripts are not even there but probably hidden somewhere :Dthank you;

  24. CedarFox says:

    Beautiful post Darko! I just the love the library. Did they charge for overdo books because that happens to me a lot. :whistle:

  25. gdare says:

    Thanks Ed. I have seen in Wikipedia that Swedes invaded a great part of Europe in 17th century, but I am not sure why they did went so south.You are welcome to use my photograph, just put my name somewhere in the post and it will be ok :happy:I really hope you will be able to travel there one day. Maybe it is not too expensive if you go by tourist agency. The way I travel is usually expensive, but I don`t like travel agencies – I like to have my time organized by myself 😀

  26. edwardpiercy says:

    Once again, thank you for the tour and the history lesson.Re Durnstein. The Swedes? Jeez, you know I knew that Sweden at one point was on the continent, and that they fought perhaps the first great battle in the West using gunpowder (I think this was Gustavus, but am not sure), but I didn't know they ventured so far south. Amazing.I can very well see that one monk being thrown out the window off the precipice in that one photo of Durnstein. I used the library at Melk in my post on libraries. But due to a vision problem several of the photos I used I oversharpened greatly. Your photos of the library are fantastic. I would love to replace that old Melk photo with one of yours.BTW, in ancient times (i.e. Herodotus) the Danube was called the Ister. Just thought I would throw that in. "On the Beautiful Blue Ister." Hmmm, doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it? — 😆 :up: to the series. It has been great. I don't have the money to travel to Austria — but I kinda feel I did anyway. Except without the jet lag.

  27. gdare says:

    You are welcome 🙂 I am glad someone likes my photos :happy:

  28. gdare says:

    Whatever you want :)If you want I can send you a photo in better resolution? Just send me a mail.

  29. edwardpiercy says:

    I probably will change the photo, come to think of it. I can't do anything about the other ones, but I can at least improve on that one.Q: Do you want me to link to this specific post, or your blog in general?Because I can do it either way, of course.

  30. edwardpiercy says:

    Okay, it's fixed. With your photo, I linked to your blog in general. I figured that way they could hit all your photo albums.For a blog, the res is fine. In fact I had to reduce it a bit to fit in with the other photos in the post. Merci! :up:

  31. edwardpiercy says:

    You wouldn't have a good one of the Biblioteque National, would you? — 😆

  32. ellinidata says:

    lovely post Darko!!!!I am so glad you had such a great time!!!I missed you much!

  33. gdare says:

    Hi Angeliki, thanks. How was your time in Pennsylvania?

  34. DarkSunsGlare says:

    How enourmous that library was, actually? And how do you open that secret door, I wonder?Most impressive pictures.I wouldn't have even guessed that was a castle there… The swedes were very thourough, it seems. And even if they weren't, the 350 years did their job, huh?"… I was surprised to see how fast and strong river is there, very narrow at he same time, unlike what we have here in Zemun"Same thing here. Except you need to switch Zemun with Futog 😀

  35. ellinidata says:

    thanks Darko!it was magnificent!I am selecting out of 500 pictures just a few before I post ,this way I will not bore any body with my romantic ideas:)I love you much and I missed you! :heart:

  36. ellinidata says:

    soon :)I am still in the selecting stage :heart:

  37. gdare says:

    I know the feeling. I had more than 1000 photos :faint:

  38. gdare says:

    Archon – I have made this photo just in front of the door, so it is not enormous; but 900 years ago I suppose it was among the biggest in the world; nice to see another opera member from Serbia, welcome to my blog :up:Angeliki – I am glad you had a good time there; I am waiting for a photos to check :yes:

  39. studio41 says:

    This is great, and your sentence structure is excellent, btw.I bet Allan loves the library, too!

  40. gdare says:

    Thank you Jill.:sst: I have copied and rearranged few sentences from their website 😀

  41. studio41 says:

    interesting and thoughtful entries. 🙂

  42. oldephartte says:

    I wonder if anyone has connected the Swedes with "the Northmen" and realizes they were the Vikings who raided the coasts of Europe ? There's red hair among my relatives I always thought came from that part of history.Don't worry about your command of word order, syntax or construction. Aside from the occasional spelling error ( proofreading ? ) you do at least as well as I. Though English is my mother tongue, that might not be such a high bar to surpass !

  43. rose-marie says:

    Wow! Great pictures :D. That library looks amazing! I didn't realize Adso was from there :).:left: :right: :sst: Go Swedes! :p

  44. Cynthia23 says:

    Great read Darko and BIG thanks for the photo of Stift Melk! :up: Umberto Eco! 🙂

  45. gdare says:

    John – thank you for kind words, I am really trying to make my posts readable 😀 welcome to my blog :yes:Cynthia – thank you; I guess you like that book :)Rose – 😆 :sst: I thought you are Norwegian with some southern blood in your veins 😉

  46. rose-marie says:

    :no: I just live in Norway :p

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