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Weltenburg Abbey – over 1000 years of history and a spectacular location along the Danube

(c) www.bayern.by | Peter von Felbert

The Weltenburg abbey, located at the geographical heart of Bavaria between Ingolstadt and Regensburg, directly along the Danube River, is Bavaria’s most ancient monastery. It was founded around 600 a.d. by Irish or Scottish monks, though the place was already inhabited: this was the place of a border post by the time of the Roman Empire, when it extended North of the Alps.

The St-George church dates back to the middle of the 18th century and is a prime example of the European baroque style. In the rock cellar, originally built to store beers crafted by the monks since 1050 in a cool place, visitors can gain more insight on the place’s settlement history. To this day, the abbey brews a wide variety of beers which are distributed in many countries over the world -- also in Quebec.

In Weltenburg, the most spectacular is the canyon-like landscape, where the Danube river weaves its flows between 70m high limestone cliffs crowned by forest. These gorges have been attracting visitors for centuries for their breathtaking, wild beauty: as soon as 1840, King Ludwig I of Bavaria declared the place a “natural monument”. It is still a beloved hiking target that can be reached also by ferry.