Durnstein Things to Do
Dürnstein, Austria lies just northwest of Vienna, and is known for its many sightseeing opportunities, wonderful dining, shops, and historically significant locations. There is plenty to do here on a long or short stay.
Historically significant sites abound here, the first being the old entrance to the city, known by the locals as Steiner Tor. In English that’s Entrance to The Old Town. It is the only of four that has survived into this century. Multiple crests from 1756 adorn the entrance, the most remarkable being a crowned double eagle.
Walk The Town
Durnstein is a wonderful place to take a stroll. Old and narrow cobblestone streets lead to old and beautiful buildings. The town is not overrun with tourists like so many other European destinations. Expect to see murals and iron painted signs welcoming you in the area. There is an easy walk, flat and level, that’s right beside the Danube with good views of the ruins above the town.
The Blue Monastery Church and Abbey
The original colors have adorned the church since the day it was finished being built in the 1700’s. The blue and white of the steeple represent heaven, and the gray and yellow of the abbey represent earth. It is famous as one of the finest baroque towers in all of Austria. You can take a tour for a small fee and see all the paintings and sculpture inside. You can even see St James’ skeleton inside the Durnstein Abbey Church.
Durnstein Castle Ruins
The old ruins of Durnstein castle overlook the entire town at the highest rocky elevation peering over the Danube River and Wachau Valley. It is spectacular, provides a wonderful view and steep hike, and is free to visit. Make sure to bring good hiking shoes and plan on 30 minutes each way from the Abbey on the water in town. Expect an incredible scenery as payment for all of your hard work hiking, because you can see the entire town from up here. The castle served as a prison to King Lionheart in 1192 during the third crusade. The castle was left in ruin after Swedish troops nearly destroyed it.
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