|2000||Inscribed||Reasons for inscription|john booth (New Zealand):
I took Klaus' advice and took a cruise along the Danube between Melk and Krems. The majestic architecture of Melk Abbey and Durnstein were awe insiring. But the relaxed atmosphere of watching the Wachau landscape drift past was special. It was one village after another, interspersed with castles and vinyards.
To avoid the exorbitant hotel prices in Vienna I stayed at a delightful gasthof in the village beneath Melk Abbey.
Date posted: December 2012 Ian Cade (England):
A trip to the Wachau valley really is an impressive day trip from Vienna.
I started off my trip with a guided tour of the abbey at Melk. It really was striking, sitting on a bluff looming over the small town below. In winter the only way to see the interior of the abbey is to go on a guided tour. I normally dread these in such grand places; however this one was pretty inspiring. We were shown around by a resident nun how did a great job of contextualising everything we saw. I was happy that the museum was laid out to show the evolution of the abbey and the art with in it, rather than just highlighting some dusty ornate furnishings.
The highlight is undoubtedly the magnificent baroque library. Another site well worth seeing is the chapel which is an over-the-top baroque masterpiece. You can visit the chapel without going on the tour, but you are restricted to a small side section, however you can see the whole interior from there.
After a quick coffee I headed off on a small post-bus that drove me the whole length of the valley to Krems. This gave me good view of many of the major sites of the valley, without having to brave the freezing conditions.
In Krems I had a lovely walk through the cobbled streets hunting out some of the wine that is produced on the river banks that I had just driven through. After a meal and a further stroll I was back on the train to Vienna having enjoyed a wonderful afternoon trip.
The valley is easily visitable as a day trip from the capital; however in warmer months it is the sort of place that would reward a longer more genteel meander.
[Site 6: Experience 5]
Date posted: April 2012 Assif Am-David (Israel):
On a day trip from Vienna I went to both Krems and Duernstein. Both proved to be quite a pleasant surprise.
Krems is the central town of the Wachau and has a nice historic town. Duernstein is much smaller and is very pretty. It is also beautifully located along one of the Danube's curves, amongst vineyards and near the ruins of Duernstein Castle. I would recommend doing both on the same day, as they are only a short drive from one another. Famous local products are wines and apricote jam.
Date posted: October 2011 Pavel Matejicek (Czech Republic):
The Wachau Valley is really a magical place. It has almost mediterranean character somehow unexpected in the middle of a bit boring fields and forests typical for central Europe. Valley itself decorated with such monumental buildings like Melk monastery is incredible. However, I enjoyed very much antient parts of Krems and Stein, especially several churches and palaces dated back to 13th century.
Date posted: December 2010 Cate Brown (United States):
The Wachau Valley is incredible. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple days in Waldkirchen on a VBT Bicycling vacation this past June.
We stayed in the Raffelsberger Hof bed and breakfast, feasting on Marillen preserves, and spent three days pedaling up and down the Danube. Highlights included the Benedictine Abbey in Melk, hiking up to Dürnstein for a sunset picnic and biking through the farmer's market in Ottensheim, only to find Raku pottery, a wealth of recycled jewelry and incredible woolens from around the valley. VBT treated us to a fine sampling of Grüner Veltliners and Reisling wines in a refinished wine cellar in Waldkirchen, and after a long day of riding, that sweet, aromatic white wine simply hit the spot.
If you are interested in exploring the Wachau Valley, I encourage you to take a bike tour. Free from a tour bus, I was able to explore the countryside at my own pace, inhale the sweet aroma of apricots along the flood plains of the Danube, and enjoy white wine sabayon and Marillenkuchen (apricot cake) at the end of the day, without feeling guilty.
Date posted: July 2009 David Berlanda (Italy / Czech Republic):
In the Wachau valley we have been only at the Göttweig abbey, founded in 1074 by the Augustinians on a hill on the right Danube bank. Across the entrance portal, near which is an the Porter's Lodge, remain of an ancient medieval castle, you pass to the main court, where is the Baroque church, with two towers and a porch projected by C. Biasino and J. L. von Hildebrandt. Inside is the Baroque nave and the Gothic apse, with chapels, tombs, an organ, a pulpit by H. Schmidt, altars, stuccos, a treasury paintings by Kremser Schmidt and A. Wolf and a Gothic crypt. In the abbey palace there is the imperial staircase, with frescos on the ceiling by Paul Troger, and many buildings and rooms: the imperial apartments, the Hall of St. Cecilia, the "Grand Hotel", the library, the choirboys' seminary, the gatehouse and the Chapel of St. Erentrudis.
I liked very much this abbey because of the quality of its architecture. It's worth to be visited if you are in the Low Austria and I think that Wachau justifies the inscription, even if I have seen only this abbey.
Photo: Göttweig - Abbey church
Date posted: February 2006 Klaus Freisinger (Austria):
The Wachau Valley stretches for over 30 km along the Danube River between the towns of Melk and Krems in Lower Austria, west of Vienna. It is certainly one of the nicest areas in Austria, and if you´re lucky enough and the weather is fair, it makes for an unforgettable trip - preferably by boat, although there are nice bike trails as well. The valley´s steep banks are covered by vineyards, and there are many small villages with churches and castles. The abbey of Göttweig, the ruins of the castle at Dürnstein, where Richard the Lion-Hearted was held captive and Blondel came to his rescue, and above all the fantastic Benedictine abbey of Melk, featured in The Name of the Rose, are also in this WHS. It is probably one of the best daytrips you can make from Vienna (but not in winter): go by train to Melk, see the abbey, go by ship to Krems, go to a wine restaurant (a Heuriger) there, and then go back to Vienna.
Have you been to Wachau Cultural Landscape? Share your experiences!