Dürnstein castle is a free top destination in the Wachau valley close to the City of Krems. The once mighty fortress was built in 1134. Due to raids in the following centuries the castle was heavily damaged. Finally, the Thirty Year’s War destroyed it for good. Thus, only its ruins remain today. However, they are very well maintained and you can explore them without any risk. From Dürnstein village the castle ruins can be reached by foot after 10 to 15 minutes. The way is steep so make sure to wear proper shoes!
Wonderful view from Dürnstein Castle
The view from Dürnstein Castle is breathtakingly beautiful. Below the stronghold and next to the mighty Danube river lies the medieval town of Dürnstein. This picturesque place is located in the middle of wine yards and gentle hills. After your visit to the caslte take a stroll and discover Dürnstein’s narrow alleys, beautiful churches and check out the stores for souvenirs and gifts! Also, you can eat some nice food and try the excellent wine in one of the restaurants or wineries.
Legend of Richard Lionheart and Blondel
According to history, English king Richard Lionheart I. was once captured and held in this castle. As legend has it Richard Lionheart was captured when he returned from the third crusade. He offended the castle’s lord by throwing his banner into the mud. As a consequence the lord imprisoned him in Dürnstein castle. The King was freed by his subordinate and singer Blondel. Blondel didn’t know the whereabouts of Richard Lionheart. When travelling through the area he found the king by using a trick. He played the king’s favorite song under the window of his prison cell. The king continued whisteling the tune, thus Blondel knew he found the right person.
Further Information on Wikipedia.