Dream Journey. The Spirit of the Middle Ages: Conquering Austria

Dream Journey. The Spirit of the Middle Ages: Conquering Austria

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The trip of a dream. The spirit of the Middle Ages: conquering Austria

About the content Author: Julia Shaikhislamova Category: Competition works Updated: March 03, 2021

Traveling through Austria by rented car among the alpine scenery. The program and route of the trip with a visit to medieval castles.

Dream Journey. The Spirit of the Middle Ages: Conquering Austria

Austrian itinerary

Traveling through Austria by rented car among the alpine scenery. The program and route of the trip with a visit to medieval castles.

The travel program was written for a contest of 30,000 rubles for a dream trip organized by the site MAKE-TRIP.RU. The task was to come up with an original idea and route of the trip and to keep within 30 000 rubles for flights. The best texts of the participants will be published in a separate rubric.

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Author: Shaikhislamova Julia .

For many, Austria – a country of ski resorts and cozy towns, where every house welcomes tourists. For me – it’s a treasure trove of great medieval castles and fortresses, which defended the possessions and stood against the conquerors. So our trip is a tribute to the history of the Middle Ages, a real knight’s quest with overnight accommodation under the open sky, only instead of swords – cameras, and instead of horses – a comfortable car.

Once we arrived in Vienna, we rent a car right at the airport and rush to Leobendorf, admiring on the way charming Austrian houses. Our first trophy – Kreuzenstein Castle – is situated on the left bank of the Danube River, 17 km from the capital. The castle from the 13th century captures hearts and inspires: mystical films like “Time of the Witches” with Nicolas Cage were filmed here.

Kreuzenstein Castle was originally built as an arms and utensils warehouse and to this day houses one of the largest private arms collections in Austria.

We continue our journey along the Danube along pleasant Austrian roads: clean and beautiful, with glimpses of abbeys and toy houses, in a word, 60 km fly by with pleasure.

And here we see another echo of the Middle Ages: Dürnstein Fortress, the main attraction of the small town of the same name. Needless to say, not every castle of those times could survive: today Dürnstein is a ruin. One can only imagine how during the Crusades King Richard I the Lionheart of England was imprisoned here, taken prisoner by the Austrian Duke Leopold V. Let’s pay tribute to this castle and drive on along the river…

After a half an hour’s walk we will meet the Aggstein Castle rising 300m above the Danube: built in the 12th century, it is still in its original defensive positions. We climb the paths of the conquerors and see the beauty of the Danube from up above, looking for a place to spend the night.

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After greeting the dawn over the Danube, we will move on with renewed vigor. Just 12 kilometers away is another fairytale character: Schönbühel Castle, the “keeper of the Wachau valley”. Built in the 12th century, it’s perched on the edge of a high, angular rock on the right bank of the Danube near Melk.

The next destination is Schallaburg Castle, founded in the Middle Ages. Reminiscent of Italian palaces, it is striking for its rich architecture and vast scope. Equipped with huge halls and sumptuous interiors, Schallaburg welcomes historical exhibitions and knightly duels within its walls. We enjoy sampling traditional cuisine here and continue on our way.

And further on – the town of Gmunden, washed by Lake Traunze. By the way, this is the deepest alpine lake in Austria, with a depth of 191 m. Here every tourist will find something to his liking: on the banks of the lake are more than 50 restaurants, 25 bars and 3 wine shops, and for those who like to continue fun – even a nightclub. But our attention is attracted by a more valuable object: over the blue waters of the lake majestically rises the castle Schloss Orth, first mention of which dates back to the tenth century. Another Medieval wonder to add to our collection!

Tourist fuss of the place is not for us. So in search of peace and quiet we will head to the small lakes Langbathsee, hidden in a valley among the mountains. Here you can enjoy the Alpine scenery in complete silence, swim in the warm 22-degree water and set up a tent.

On the third day, the route will take you past the lakes Attenze and Mondse, which promises beautiful scenery along the way and small stops. Conquering the castles, it is impossible not to see the largest glacial lake of the Austrian Alps Attenze and swim in the warm waters of Mondse.

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Then on the way there is the impregnable fortress Hohensalzburg , one of the largest medieval buildings in Europe. Silently towering atop Mount Vestung at a height of 120 meters, it has fully preserved its walls to this day.

Like true conquerors, we’ll forego the funicular and opt for the second option: climbing the mountain trails, trading a half-hour hike for an unforgettable experience and a stunning view of Salzburg.

Our next stop is the mighty castle Hohenwerfen, built in the XI century. It was a prison and remembered the Napoleonic wars, destroyed and restored, today Hohenwerfen is open to the public. Behind the powerful bastions of the castle are a collection of weapons, museums and parks.

And finally the mediaeval castle of Hochosterwitz near Klagenfurt, built on 160 m high dolomite rock. It stands unconquered, behind fourteen gates, spreading out its walls on the winding slopes of the mountains. Wandering through the corridors of this castle, one is truly imbued with the grandeur of the time.

Back to reality

We arrive in Klagenfurt to leave the iron horse and take a train to Vienna. Then by direct flight Vienna – Moscow. Behind us are 3 fabulous days, 9 the most valuable castles of Europe and alpine wind, which is impossible to inhale.

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