Sunday, October 16, 2016

Danube Reflection - The Wachau Valley

WELCOME TO THE WACHAU VALLEY! A region known for its high-quality wines and delightful villages. 

Dürnstein was founded in 1019 AD as "Tirnstein," which means "dry stone." 

Dürnstein is a village of 800+ people living on one street between the castle and the river.

Dürnstein is famous for its wine and the place of imprisonment of King Richard I of England (Richard the Lionheart). Apparently, King Richard went to Acre in the Crusades. While there, he took down Leopold V, Duke of Austria's flag and stepped on it. Obviously, this offended Leopold. So, when Richard was returning from the Holy Lands he had to make a detour through Vienna on his way back to England. Knowing he upset Leopold, he dressed as a common soldier while in the city. But, he was recognized in a bar because he wore a fancy ring. Richard was arrested and shipped down to Dürnstein Castle for his imprisonment. Of course, he was held for a King's Ransom (about 100,000 pounds of silver).

Interesting mural in a pediment.

Stift Dürnstein (Abbey Church of Durnstein) - Constructed in 1410, this was a monastery for monks until 1788. Emperor Joseph II required monasteries to provide schools in exchange for the privilege of having these institutions. The monks refused, were kicked out, and part of it is a school today for 18 local students.

How's this for a grand entrance?

Another grand entrance with the tower in the background.

The Baroque Alter inside the church.

Sankt Quirin (?) Church, which we passed on our bike ride to Krems and back.

Vineyard grapes working hard to become Riesling or Grüner Veltliner wines.

The Wachau Valley has the perfect micro-climate for making dry wines.

Dick biking by one of the many fine wineries.

Vineyards and churches everywhere!

1) What kind of mischief is this kid up to?
2) Who did a caricature of me as a kid and turned it into a sign?

Wine Tasting in Weissenkirchen

Inez and Marianne with their big glasses of wine.

More vacation blog posts at:
Vienna, Austria - 

Bratislava, Slovakia -

Grein, Austria -

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic/Linz, Austria -

Passau, Germany -

Regenburg, Germany -

Prague, Czech Republic -

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