town, northeastern Austria. It lies at the confluence of the Danube and Melk rivers, west of Sankt Polten. The town was the site of a Roman garrison and was the castle-residence of the Babenberg rulers of Austria from 976 to 1101. The castle and surrounding lands were given in 1111 to the huge Benedictine abbey of Melk (founded in 1089), which dominates the city. The abbey was enlarged and fortified in the 14th century, but most of its palatial buildings date from its Baroque reconstruction (1702-36). Melk also has some notable Renaissance houses, notably Schallaburg castle. The locality is well known for its wines. Pop. (2001) 5,222.
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