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Melk (older spelling: Mölk) is a city of Austria, in the federal state of Lower Austria, next to the Wachau valley along the Danube. Melk has a population of 5,222 (as of 2001).

The town is first mentioned as Medilica in 831 in a donation of Louis the German; the name is from a Slavic word for 'border.'[1] The area around Melk was given to Margrave Leopold I in the year 976 to serve as a buffer between the Magyars (called "Turks" in that time's sources) to east and Bavaria to the west. In 996 mention was first made of an area known as Ostarichi, which is the origin of the wordOesterreich (German for Austria). The bluff which holds the current monastery held a Babenberger castle until the site was given toBenedictine monks from nearby Lambach by Margrave Leopold II in 1089. Melk received market rights in 1227 and became a municipalityin 1898. In a very small area, Melk presents a great deal of architectural variety from many centuries. 
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