Melk is a Danube River town in Austria, home to a marvelous Benedictine Abbey that sits on a steep hill overlooking the town. This Benedictine abbey was founded in 1089, and Melk has been a cultural and spiritual center of Austria ever since. Monks have continually lived and worked in the Melk Abbey for over 900 years, despite the building having been rebuilt numerous times. Near the beginning of the 18th century, the ochre-colored Melk Abbey was completely reconstructed in the Baroque style, with quiet arched passageways, large courtyards, and the monks' residences, a school, and ornate church inside.
A tour of the Melk Abbey is included on Danube River cruises. Buses carry passengers to the top of the abbey hill, and a guided tour of the rooms and artwork is included. The large reception room and library are particularly impressive. Rather than return to the ship on the bus, most passengers walk the short distance down the hill to explore Melk before strolling back to their ship.