Dürnstein castle was documented first time in 1144. It belonged to the Dürnsteiner family until 1192. The castle fell in to disrepair in the 16th century and was abandoned in 1610.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Austria

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ales Hotko (2 years ago)
Beautiful castle ruins, one of the best I've seen. But I miss information tables or anything informational about castle and it's history (it would be nice to have it in English and German as many visitors are from abroad).
Ralf Luthin (2 years ago)
Fantastic piece of history. You get a real sense of how royalty lived so many hundreds of years ago. The view incredible from up there
Max Tc (3 years ago)
Sehr schöne Ruine, sehr gut erhalten und der Ausblick ist hervorragend! Die Gegend eignet sich sehr gut für eine Wanderung. Kurz vor der Burg konnten wir uns etwas zu essen und trinken kaufen. Man kann auch mit dem Auto in die Nähe der Burg fahren, Parkplätze sind vorhanden, den Rest des Weges muss man gehen.
Ralf Luthin (4 years ago)
Went for a hike and came across this beauty
Stefan Hosemann (4 years ago)
I've been on a lot of ruins so far, but this one really is one of a kind. Coming from the parking lot, you walk about 10 minutes untill you reach the ruins of Steinschloss. It's really big and almost everything can be explored. It's awesome for kids because they can play and climb, but be careful, some areas are not that safe, one false step and you might break your neck. But if you're careful and do not climb on stuff you will be just fine. It's a really beautiful place, the view is amazing and it's great to hang out and to have a picknick - I hope to come back soon.
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.