Burg Hochosterwitz is from central casting. It is an incredible building perched on the top of a large hill and looks as though it is part of the earth itself. It is designed for access by car and there are two parking areas - at the base of the hill for those who like a longer walk, and up a one and a half car width track to the start of the trail up to the castle.
There are two ways up to the castle - via lift or walking. Most choose to walk and this is really the main part of the appeal. The walk up the hill through the 14 defensive gates up to the castle is the attraction. The castle itself does not have so much to offer. The museum is fairly uninspired and does not really tell anywhere near enough of the story of the castle which is a shame. The views from the top are good and given the Carinthian weather can be somewhat atmospheric.
The best view of the castle itself is from afar. The postcard view comes from a spot near the roundabout on the main road before turning off towards the castle itself. It is worth driving slowly enough to get a good shot.
The walk up through the 14 gates is good fun. The path is not too difficult and the gradient is relatively shallow. The gates are mainly the same but the thought process behind their construction is fascinating.
For entry including the lift, the price is a little steep. The depth of entertainment isn't really there. The summit could be considered a little disappointing after the journey up and the characters met en route. The main courtyard is really a beeratorium. A little more history or entertainment at the top would make this a better attraction.
As it is though, Burg Hochosterwitz is one of the sights of Carinthia and so worth taking in for those passing by that way.
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