Dürnstein is a small (with less than 1,000 residents) but lovely town on the Donau. It’s a popular place for tourists, especially in the summer.
These are the ruins of the castle fortress, where in 1193, Duke Leopold V who was ruling Austria at that time held King Richard I Lionheart of England prisoner. The story goes: For quite some time, nobody knew exactly where King Richard was imprisoned in Austria. But his loyal minstrel companion, Blondel, had an idea. He went from castle to castle, playing his lute and singing Richard’s favorite songs. The tactic paid off, the legend says, for at Dürnstein, Richard heard Blondel’s singing and sang the lyrics in reply. Then everybody knew where he was. The castle was virtually demolished by the troops of the Swedish Empire in 1645.
The 15th century parish church was originally an Augustinian monastery and was reconstructed when the baroque style swept Austria. The church tower is the finest baroque example in the whole country and a prominent landmark in the Donau Valley.
The Hotel Schloss Dürnstein (below) is said to be the best decorated hotels in Austria, with white ceramic stoves, vaulted ceilings, parquet floors, oriental rugs, and gilt mirrors. In the hotel, there is a nice and cozy restaurant by the Donau river. A musician plays piano while the guests having dinner and enjoying the beautiful scenery of Donau.
Copyright © 2011 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.