A Visit to Kufstein & Kufstein Castle/Fortress, Austria

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Earlier this month, I travelled to Munich, Germany to visit the Munich Christmas Market. On the second day of this holiday, my parents and I had a day trip to Austria to the Tirol/Tyrol region. Our first stop was the town of Kufstein in Austria, which is on the border of Germany and on the fringe of the Alps and Bavaria. Kufstein is a popular place for skiing and the arts and has its own open-air theatre for events. It also has buildings dating from medieval times and a castle on top of a steep hillside. It was once a walled city, and parts of the old wall can still be seen.


On the way to Austria, we saw snow and mountains and beautiful scenery and buildings.



The first stop once we arrived in Kufstein, Austria was to visit Kufstein Castle / Fortress, which is located on top of a steep hill in the town. The castle is more than 800 years old and includes an open-air theatre and organ. The castle was first documented in 1205 and passed ownership many times between the region and Bavaria. The access to the castle is in the middle of the town and up a funicular railway (or via steps), which offers beautiful views over the town and mountains.


I took some photographs of the journey up the funicular and at the top where I could see the amazing views.



Once at the top, a rotunda tower offers excellent panaromic views.





We then explored the buildings, which includes a museum and prison. The museum information panels were in German, so we could not read them, but I believe that they document the findings in and around the castle grounds and Kufstein. Skeletons of bears are present, and there are also shards of flint and stone tools, ceramic, and pottery.


The tower on the top point was the former prison, and enemies of the Austria-Hungary empire were jailed here. It is now a restaurant and a museum with information about a variety of subjects, such as gruesome punishments and how the prisoners were kept. There were also a few articles on different types of crime and justice. Below is one of the prison rooms.



The other side of the building contained the cannon area, and excellent views could be seen around the castle. The theatre area could also be walked to and hosts a Christmas market during some of the days, but we did not walk here and the Christmas market was not open on the day that we visited.


After descending the castle, we headed toward the town square and passed the decorated Rathus (court house) and a beautiful church. 



Just off of the square is the road named Römerhofgasse, which is a medieval passage lined with buildings decorated with frescoes.



Kufstein is a lovely town worth passing through to spend a couple of hours checking out the castle and town. It also sounds like a lovely place to watch the opera, theatre, or music concert that are in session in the summer months.

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