For real High Baroque excess, head for the early eighteenth-century Benedictine monastery at Melk – a pilgrimage centre associated with the Irish missionary St Koloman. The monumental coffee-cake monastery, perched on a bluff over the river, dominates the town. Highlights of the interior (daily: April–Oct 9am–5pm; tours in English 10.55am & 2.55pm; Nov–March guided tours only 11am
& 2pm; €11, €13 with guided tour) are the exquisite library, with a cherub-infested ceiling by Troger, and the rather lavish monastery church, with similarly impressive work by Rottmayr.

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