01 May 2011

Burg Hochosterwitz and various churches: Tour with Manfred (video)

Manfred was able to take us out again on Saturday for a trip though some of the churches in the countryside and also the mighty Burg Hochosterwitz. It was originally just one of the many castles atop hills that pepper Austria's back country, but it was purchased by a military official and he upgraded it to be an impenetrable fortress. He added a total of 14 gates to the pathway up to the castle, each with protected areas for defenders and some even having drawbridges and other surprise defenses. As a testament to its greatness, through all the attacks on the castle, it was never totally breached before Napoleon, and the greatest number of gates breached were only 2 out of the 14.

Up at the top there was a small museum as well, showing the artifacts of the time. It's strange to think that those weapons probably spilled more than a litre or two of blood, but this castle is probably the closest we have come to seeing evidence of such conflict.

Much to Kaitlin's dismay there was also a nice gondola that brought us almost straight down the side of the mountain. We survived, though.