Weltenburg Abbey – European River Cruise
After lunch, we departed for our excursion to Weltenburg Abbey. The cruise down the Gorge is done on a smaller tour boat as the waters are quite shallow in some parts. The landscape was beautiful and we all crowded in the open deck at the back of the boat, soaking up the scenery. It was a fine day and very soon it got too hot and everyone deserted their prime position seats to find a place in the shade.
The Benedictine abbey of Weltenburg is the oldest monastery in Bavaria and was founded around 600 AD by the monks of St. Columbanus. It is situated near the entrance to the scenic Danube gorge. Angels are frequently depicted throughout the church, as in 1686 the monastery became part of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation of the Holy Guardian Angels. In the half cupola, for instance, you will see the Archangels in gilded stucco relief: Raphael, Michael, Gabriel (with the rosary), and Uriel with the incense of adoration. We were not able to explore much of the features of this historical Abbey as it was undergoing massive refurbishment.
For those who got thirsty during the cruise, there is a bustling beer garden and restaurant within the compounds of the Abbey. This was a bit freaky for me as I kept recalling scenes from bible studies where merchants and other traders were expelled from the temple grounds for daring to spoil the sanctity of the house of god. Tony tried one of the many beers but it wasn’t as dark as his favorite drink.
From the Abbey, it is quite a hike back to the coach. Be warned if you do have problems walking distances and it may be wise to check with your tour director before signing up for this excursion.