Durnstein on the Danube is known as Austria’s “Pearl of the Wachau”. Durnstein Castle, where Richard the Lionheart was held captive, sits on the banks of the Danube. The town of Durnstein received its name from this medieval castle which translates into Durr for dry and stein for stone. The ruins rest high up on the hill away from the dampness of the river as you can see on the upper right of this photo. Access to the castle is via a 20 – 30 minute “exhilarating” hike up the hill to the ruins. The views of the city and the historical significance of the medieval site make it all worthwhile.
Durnstein, Austria is situated in the northeast corner in the State of Lower Austria the Wachau region. Known for its numerous wineries and above all Reislings, wine lovers will find much to love in this beautiful town. Apricots abound in the area and delectables made with them will surely be on your list to savor. Apricot strudels and dumplings as well as Apricot brandy await the river cruiser.
Being small and compact and with a population of 900, it is easy to see the town and most of its attractions on foot and in fact that is the best way to experience all it has to offer. The Blue Monastery Church as seen in the center of the above photo is definitely on the “must see” list. The blue of the spire represents heaven while the yellows and grays of the buildings represent earth.
The old entrance to the city, Steiner Tor, is one of only 4 that still exist to this day. Numerous crests are in place on this entrance dating back to 1756. The narrow streets and charming architecture will have you wondering just what it was like to live here in centuries past.