Sunday, February 22, 2015

Walking UP to the Schlosskopf Castle at the Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble in Reutte, Austria

Up is a word you'll hear a lot as you travel through Bavaria and Tyrol. Not only up but if you ask the locals everything seems to be just a 15 minute walk...

The reality is you can't travel through the Alps without going up. But when you're a Florida girl used to walking miles and miles at sea level UP takes on a whole new meaning!

So as we headed out to walk to the Ehrenberg Castle Ruins we knew we'd be walking up to the top of a mountain. And up it was.

BTW I say mountain, the locals say hill. I guess it's all in your perspective.

A little history before we begin our walk.

The Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble is a grouping of old buildings and castles that had pretty much gone to seed. Beginning in 1971 Friedl Schennach from Reutte began a rescue operation and in 2001 the European Castle Museum Ehrenberg Association was founded to preserve the complex which includes the  Ehrenberg ruin, the Schlosskopf, Claudia Fortress and the Klause Toll House.

  • Burgruine Ehrenberg (Ehrenberg ruin) - Constructed in 1293 under Duke Meinrad II established the northern border of Tyrol. 
  • Hermitage Ehrenberg (Klause Toll House) - In 1480 it served as a military road block and a customs house. This now serves as the museum.
  • Fort Claudia - Named after the Tyrolean Archduchess Claudia it was built during her reign between 1639 and 1645. Fort Claudia sits on the mountain ridge opposite the Ehrenberg ruin.
  • Stronghold Schlosskopf - the big daddy sitting on top of the overlooking mountain. Built between 1733 and 1741 it never gained importance and was shut down in 1782.

From the left on the highest mountain is Schlosskopf, on the next mountain is Ehhrenberg, in the valley Ehrenberg Klause,
across the valley Fort Claudia.

At the entrance to Hermitage Ehrenberg (Klause Toll House)
Walking to the ruins is free but there is a parking fee of 2 euro.  The museum is described as a hands-on-museum where you can experience the thrilling history of the middle ages. Looks like it would be fun for the kids. We didn't go into the museum because time was limited and we came to hike the mountain.TIP: Get an AKTIV Card from your hotel. There's no cost for the card and you can get into many places, including this museum, for free. 

Going up to Schlosskopf castle

Another part of the trail going up to Schlosskopf

Beautiful views from the trail

Another view from the trail

Interesting signs along the way told the history and folklore of the area

Das Goldloch - The Golden Hole

There are many small caves in the rock face of the castle hill and legend says that this particular cave holds a treasure of a lump of gold. Only those who have a pure, honest, golden heart are able to seize the gold. All others will be met with the bite of a snake.  

Well, I guess we know someone's not pure of heart...

Stronghold Schlosskopf

 According to the map it was a 45 minute walk up to Schlosskopf. I think it took us a good bit longer.  The path was easy and clear, not a lot of roots or rocks to walk over. However it was steadily up all the way with a number of switchbacks. I have to admit that although I walk for miles on flat land the incline and the altitude got the best of me. I had to make a few stops to catch my breath but I made it!

It was well worth the walk. The view from the top was spectacular!

Gorgeous view from Schlosskopf

Unobstructed view of the surrounding area

From Schlosskopf Castle looking down on Ehrenberg ruin, the Toll house (in the valley) and across to Fort Claudia. 

Look closely at the picture above. You can just barely make out the cables running from base of Ehrenberg over to Fort Claudia. This will be the Highline 179 the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. Opens at the end of 2014. We'll have to make a trip back to walk across.

We made it to the top but the walk down is another story which I'll share in the next post.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Lace up and walk up a mountain (or hill)!

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  1. What a beautiful hike! We were in Vienna a couple weeks ago, but didn't get out into the countryside. Looks like we should have!

    1. Oh it was beautiful! The mountains and the views were gorgeous. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I hate up too, but you certainly get rewarded with some beautiful views. Thanks for linking up with us on #SundayTraveler!

    1. So true, I try to keep my mind on the reward and that makes it a little easier! Thanks for visiting.

  3. Well, I see it right there in print! So we're going back to go across the bridge?? I loved this place, so beautiful!

  4. I love hiking up to places like this too, it's becoming an emerging theme in our travels. We treked up to Ehrenberg too in 2009 - check out my story: & be on the look out for a post on our hike in Norway soon :)

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