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The small town of Dürnstein is one of the most famous places in the region of Wachau. This region by the way definitely is one of the most beautiful places to be near the Danube – especially during apricots bloom (mid March) and also during harvest season of the apricots (Start of July) this area is visited a lot by tourists from all around the world.

Dürnstein Old Town

Dürnstein isn’t only famous because of its beautiful blue church but also because of the impressive castle ruin on top of the nearby mountain. The castle was initially built in the 12th century and was inhabited until the 17th century. After crucial damage of the main gate house at the end of the Thirty Year’s War it wasn’t rebuilt and abondoned to decay.
The most famous inhabitant, albeit very briefly and involuntarily, was the English King Richard the Lionheart, who was arrested on his return from the Third Crusade in December 1192 and held until March 1193.

Castle Ruin Dürnstein

Today, the castle ruins are perfect for a short walk to the top of the mountain with stunning views over the Danube valley below.
Here, however, definitely sturdy footwear is adviseable. Furthermore, there are two different ways to climb the ruin. The one starts in the center and leads over many steps and stones up and the other starts before the eastern city gate and is not quite as steep as the first route.

The space in the city are very cramped due to the medieval construction. Parking is mainly to the east. We recommend the first parking lot in front of the eastern gate (parking fee 4.00 € per day – as of 2019).
If this is already fully occupied, which can happen on the touristy days, there are further parking lots to the east of the main road B3, from which you can reach the center on foot within a few minutes.

Starting from car park P1, we advise you to use the green marked footpath, because for the blue the partly busy main road has to be crossed.

If you want to know more about Dürnstein, you can read the article „Trip to the apricot paradise„.

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