The Göttweig monastery lies majestically on a hill above the Danube.
The reform bishop of Passau, Altmann, was a victim of the investiture controversy. He was active on the Pope's side and was therefore expelled from Passau. He came to Göttweig and founded a canon monastery on the "consecrated mountain", where a Celtic place of worship was already located in the 6th century BC. The church was consecrated in 1083. He worked here until his death in 1091. Three years after Altmann's death the monastery was converted into a Benedictine monastery.
When the neighbour "Melk" ventured a spectacular new building in the 18th century, Göttweig responded with an even more powerful plan. A baroque ideal city in perfect symmetry was to be created. The baroque architect Lucas von Hildebrandt planned a complex with five courtyards and a dome-crowned church, based on the Spanish Escorial. The money ran out and so the dream remained unfinished.
This is how you can see the monastery from the Danube cycle path.
At the top, you can enjoy this magnificent view. In front of us lies the Danube valley and the city of Krems.
Only a part of the enormous baroque building could be realized. Also the planned new building of the church with dome did not become true. The gothic church was rebuilt and the facade was completed around 1750.
All buildings were exposed to heavy devastation during and after the war. However, it was possible to reactivate and renovate the monastery. In 2018 the convent had about 45 monks.
The renovated church got back its original pink-beige colour.
A view into the choir room. Above the high baroque altar you can see the gothic ribbed vault.
The gothic cloister also is preserved. From there one gets to the crypt.
Here the founder bishop Altmann has his last resting place (in this box).
This reliquary bust shows bishop Altmann with the monastery and the crosier.
This Altmann crosier from the 12th century is still in use!
Awesomely we walk up the flat steps of the imperial staircase.
The imperial staircase is the showpiece of Göttweig. It is located in the northern half, which was largely completed according to Hildebrandt's plans. The ceiling fresco is by Paul Troger.
It is one of the great baroque staircases of Europe. The largest one is in Würzburg.
The fresco shows Emperor Charles VI as the god of the muses in a sun chariot. With Pallas Athena and the eagle of Zeus he defeats evil.
Behind the muses of the arts on the side of the good is Kronos. Well, didn't Kronos eat all his children?
The question remains: where does the pilgrimage to Santiago continue? Turn right before the church and you will come to the section of the Austrian Way of St. James that is signposted from here to Melk.
For us, however, this question does not arise, because our friends picked us up in Göttweig and took us to a Heurigen in the Traisental. Here the Heurigen host Hinterleitner presents his best wines and we are allowed to taste!
What a wonderful way to end the day.