Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Niederösterreich, Austria

Sep 22, 2018 - Melk Abbey

The river cruise took us right up the Wachau Valley, famed for it’s wines, fruit and grains. We toured the renowned Melk Abbey, a masterwork of baroque brilliance. Perched on dramatic cliffs high above the Danube, this ochre-colored confection is perhaps the most graceful landmark of the Wachau Valley. At the abbey’s entrance, we met our guide. Rebuilt during the 18th century after the original 12th-century building was destroyed by fire, its library is now home to 30,000 offering a wide range of medieval manuscripts. Then we toured the...

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Sep 19, 2018 - Durnstein

Last night we moved further south on the Danube to Melk. It is a quaint town of 5000 people, with a World Heritage designated site, the Melk Monastery. The abbey was founded in 1089 when Leopoldo II gave one of his castles to Benedictine monks. A monastic school was founded in the twelfth 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. There are 12 library rooms, home to thousands of historical books. This afternoon we...

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Aug 13, 2018 - Heading along the Danube River

After the disappointment of yesterday we headed east out of the city along the Danube. It was a lovely day. We enjoyed a walk along by the river, although it was too hot to go too far. We then drove along by the Danube and found the lovely little town of Grien . not only was it by the river but it had a lovely town square with the oldest theatre in Austria dating back to 1791. Further on we had a look at the locks and generating stations neat Ybbs before heading away from the river up to Maria Taferi with its huge pilgrim church and great...

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Aug 8, 2018 - Melk Abbey

The one must do in this area is to visit the Stift Melk or Melk Abbey. The Abbey sits on a high cliff above the town of Melk and the Danube River, and visible for miles. The site was originally a castle but in 1089 Leopold II of the Babenburg Margrave of Austria gave his castle and church on the Melk cliffs to the Benedictine monks, who converted it into a fortified abbey. Fire destroyed the original fortress so in between 1702 and 1736 the magnificent sunny-yellow Baroque building seen today was built in accordance with plans by Jacob...

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Aug 7, 2018 - Spitz an der Donau and into the hills behind

The one thing the Wachau is not short of is churches, monasteries, and castles, many dating back to medieval times. We continued are exploration along the Danube despite the weather continuing to be extremely hot. Our first stop was at Wösendorf in der Wachau which had three generations of church/ fortifications. We were able to climb the original tower. From there we continued along to Spitz an Der Donau. This small town had a church , an old castle , and a lovely riverside location where we sat and watched the hotel boats. We drove the...

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Aug 6, 2018 - Schönbühel and Aggestein Castle

Today we were determined to find the castle on the Danube that was on the front of our Lonely Planet Guide for Austria. We found it at Schönbühel It was certainly impressive and huge but privately owned – must be some Russian Oligarch! We walked along the Danube to get the perfect shot! From there we decided to head to Aggstein Castle ruins which stands high on a hill above the Danube. It was an impressive place to visit not only for its views , but also the history surrounding the castle. The excellent audio guide took you to some...

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Aug 5, 2018 - Dürnstein and Weissenkirchen in der Wachau

Another hot day. There is only so much you can do when it is so hot! Our first stop today was Dürnstein, a very popular stop. Two things strike you as you approach the town- firstly the blue-white bell tower of church of the Augustinian Monastery. Secondly the ruined castle high above the town. You could tell the town got a lot of visitors as there were two large carparks outside the town walls We enjoyed wandering the cobbled streets with its mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Boroque architecture and the best views of the Danube was from...

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Aug 4, 2018 - Göttweig Abbey, Krems and Stein

Very hot today. St Pölten lies 20km from the Danube River and is the capital of Upper Austria. Between Krems and Melk both on the Danube and both equal distance from St Pölten is an area called “The Wachau”, This area is World Heritage Region and our guide book recommended that this was an excellent area to explore. Our first stop was the huge Göttweig Abbey. Göttweig Abbey is a baroque Benedictine monastery and often referred to as Austria's Monte Cassino because of its fantastic location, high on a hill south of Krems and it is said it...

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Aug 3, 2018 - Move to St Pölten

We got up early before the heat got too much to close the coach up and get on the road to St Pölten. We had enjoyed our time in Vienna but we would be glad to get to a campground environment again. We had a straight forward journey and arrived at the campground before lunch. The campground was lovely had huge sites which we easily fit on but their roads were a little tight, so took some manoeuvring to get into our spot. We enjoyed the afternoon sitting in the shade in peace and quiet

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Jul 30, 2018 - Schloss Laxenburg and park

Another extremely hot day, we were all wilting! The Laxenburg Schloss was the summer hunting and private residence of the Imperial Habsburg family from 1306 to 1918. It was here that Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elizabeth, known as “Sisi” spent their honeymoon and it was here that their only son Crown Prince Rudolf, was born. The park was extensive (covering 280 hectares) and ideal for walking on a hot day as it had many mature trees giving shade. It had a lake and the Franzensburg castle built by Emperor Francis I between 1798-1801 in...

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Jul 29, 2018 - Drive in the Vienna Woods

Another very hot day so a drive in an air conditioned car was in order. We headed south west of Vienna to the area known as Weinerwald or Vienna Woods. This is an area of woodlands and vineyards. Our first stop was the pretty town of Mölding. This town was once favoured by the artistically inclined such as Beethoven (1818 to 1820) and Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg (1918-1925). The town had a lovely ornate ceiling arcade. We then carried on through vineyards to the small wine village of Gumpoldkirchen. Again a lovely place to wander...

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Jun 15, 2018 - Horn to Pöchlarn - the sun and the moon and the stars aligned!

Stage 6 - 90 Kms I was last to leave the lovely people at Gasthaus zur Stadt Horn after all the cyclists had gone this morning and, as I was saying goodbye I expressed a wish that the birth of the baby (due to be born by Caesarian section today) to one of the daughters would go well. Grandad, who seemed to be the reigning manager of this family-run Gasthof, asked me what hotel our group is staying at next and said he would send an email to let us all know. As we were sitting down to dinner at the hotel in Pöchlarn tonight, a waiter came in...

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