In 2000, the cultural region of the Wachau, which includes the monasteries in Melk and Göttweig as well as the old city of Krems, became officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Wachau is a length of river land just over 30 km long between Krems an der Donau and Melk, originating from the Danube’s water gap through the Bohemian Massif and existing as the border region to Austria’s granite-gneiss plateau. Its highest points are the Jauerling (960 m) and Sandl (723 m). The Wachau lies on the border between two quarters of Lower Austria, with the Mostviertel to the south and the Waldviertel to the north. It also contains the Spitzer Graben, a tributary of the Danube.