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“Worth the climb for the magnificent views!”

Burgruine Duernstein
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Wachau Valley Winery Small-Group Bike Tour from Vienna
Ranked #1 of 18 things to do in Durnstein
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Castle Kuernriger (Schloß Kürnriger) is the main attraction of Durnstein (Dürnstein). It is the ruins of the castle in which Richard Leoncoeur, King of England was held prisoner for a year while returning from a Crusade. The ransom was used by the Duke of Babenberg to build the city walls of Vienna. This is a popular historical attraction especially for British people.
Reviewed May 21, 2012

There are two marked paths from the village - we turned right at the start of the old town which led up a stony path, quite steep. It was marked as 25 minutes, which was about right. Lots of informative signs on the way (in German & English) give you a sense of the history and some of the myths surrounding the castle over the centuries - and give you the chance for a breather whilst climbing. The alternative route, which we did as the descent, is mainly stone steps which lead to the centre of town (this route is marked 20 minutes for going up).

The views from the top are wonderful, and make the climb well worthwhile. The ruins are - well, just that - but the trip is recommended for a spot of exercise before taking a refreshing drink and bite to eat in the lovely old town. One thing to note - based on Trip Advisor's rankings we had planned to take lunch at the Sänger Blondel restaurant, but were disappointed to find that it does not open on Sundays, despite the popularity of the town with weekend tourists.

3  Thank stefch0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 30, 2012

As Wachau is one of the most exciting courses of Austria, a boat trip from Melk to Krems is inevitable. Of course the reverse direction (Krems to Melk) is also possible; but I advise the former one.
But be aware and do not skip to disembark at Dürnstein town. Climbing to the castle ruins using the stony old road (Eselsteig) takes you 20 minutes filled with excitement as the Donau panorama lifts at each step with an increasing magic splendour. Walking sticks and shoes are advisable.
Once down to the town you can spend some more time enjoying narrow and historic streets and tasting local culinary artefacts. If it is time to depart do not take the train or bus, because Krems is within walking distance. The well paved and marked road will take you through Wachau wine regions vineyards and then medieval streets of Stein town till the historic city center of Krems where you can pick a train to Wien each hour.
In short; a visit to Wien without Wachau is incomplete; so is a Wachau trip without a Dürnstein stop.

3  Thank Tamer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2011

Durnstein on the banks of the Danube has the history of Richard the Lionheart's capture as its main claim to fame. Read all about it on the climb up a paved path to the top. The views are worth the effort of making it to the top. Only a half hour for physically fit but careful if your knees have gone already. You can do a circle walk, up the harder side and down more easily. It was a Sunday when we stopped by and we didn't see another soul. Very quaint village in the heart of wine country. Since it was winter none of the tasting rooms were open. Try the local Gruner Veltlineer grown all over Domaine Washau, the local co-operative, a crisp dry white. Its available everywhere, even Waitrose has it! Prost!

7  Thank palmpirate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2011

It's quite a walk getting up to the ruins but the views are breathtaking. The ruins aren't very special but worth looking around and there is no entrance fee.

If you walk up from the town there are two routes, one is steep but with a good footing the other is rocky the signs in the town don't tell you witch is what but the easy one is traveling up from the entrance of the town.

3  Thank marijke1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2011

A visit to Durnstein is like stepping back in time to the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The town has retained it Medieval character with its winding narrow streets, shops, inns, and restaurants. The abbey church of Pfarrkirche was rebuilt in the Baroque style and its blue tower is an icon of this little town today.

Kuenringer Castle which served as prison for English King Richard the Lionheart in 1192, is in ruins today and helps to make Durnstein such a picturesque town. According to legend, the King's minstrel, a Frenchman named Jean Blondel, found him by using a song known only to the two of them. A ransom of seventy-seven thousand pounds of silver was paid and Richard was released. The name of Jean Blondel lives on in many of Durnstein's most prominent establishments.

Another interesting fact about Durnstein is that it is celebrated in Tolstoy's novel 'War and Peace', the subject of an entire chapter. The site served as battleground for the French, Prussian, and Russian armies during the Napoleonic wars. The winner differs depending on who tells of the battle.

I suggest taking time to visit the little graveyard up a set of stairs at the west side of the town. The site is small...so small that after a period of years, remains are dug up and stored in an ossuary. See accompanying photos.

I highly suggest taking the time to visit this lovely little town. Take time to enjoy the winding streets, the ruins of the castle, and the Danube below. The shops are lovely and the restaurants look inviting. You'll be glad you did.

10  Thank redeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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