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Austria’s castles

Salzburg - Festung Hohensalzburg

Austria is on many people’s minds considering that in Europe the winter season is fully underway now, with almost record breaking temperatures sweeping large parts of the continent. The Austrian ski resorts are arguably amongst the most high end of their kind in the world, but in today’s article we’ll be talking about another major attraction that the country has to offer, and that is its great range of medieval castles and fortresses.

 

Innsbruck – Schloss Ambras

Innsbruck is one of those places known for offering great skying opportunities but it is also where you’ll find the stunning Schloss Ambras. Initially built as a fortress, once it was acquired by Archduke Ferdinand II in 1564, it was turned into a palace with a forty-three meter long banquet hall called the Spanische Saal – Spanish Hall – which features wooden inlaid ceilings and the portraits of Tyrolean nobles gazing from the walls.

 

Salzburg – Festung Hohensalzburg

Rising above the city of Salzburg, Festung Hohensalzburg is a nine hundred year old fortress located at about a fifteen minute brisk walk from the city’s centre. It is one of the best-preserved, and biggest, castles in Europe from that era, and you can easily spend a solid couple of hours roaming the ramparts and collecting the views over the city’s spires.

 

Mauterndorf – Burg Mauterndorf

The medieval castle of Burg Matuerndorf is the centerpiece of the village with the same name, Mauterndorf. It was built on a rocky outcrop back in the 13th century on the site of what used to be a Roman fort, nowadays however it houses a regional museum and is used as a venue for various cultural events.

 

Eisenstadt – Schloss Esterhazy

The Schloss Esterhazy dates from the 14th century, it was a castle initially but it later got a Baroque makeover and a bit later a Neoclassical one and was turned into a palace with 256 rooms – most of them are used by the provincial government, however twenty-five can be seen on tours.

 

Landeck – Schloss Landeck

The vine-clad towers of this 13th century castle are something out of a fairy tale, its interior housing a very interesting museum featuring a variety of objects, from Celtic figurines to hand carved Krampus masks. You can climb the staircase to the tower and get some wonderful views of the town and the surrounding Lechtaler Alps.

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