Travelling back from our morning of sightseeing in the village of Zell Am See, we decided to spend an hour or two just kicking back and exploring our “first castle”. We stopped in the little township of Werfen, which is in the Salzach Valley, Salzburg District, Austria, and some 40klm from the city of Salzburg itself.
From way up high in the mighty bell tower at the summit of the castle, you could almost feel as though you’d escaped your mortal roots and ascended onto a heavenly plain…. Floating on high with the angels and the eagles. Needless to say, the views from the top were, quite simply spectacular – stretching way out as far as the eyes could see and taking in all of the surrounding countryside for miles and miles around.
It was truly a “photographer’s paradise”….so many wonderful photographic opportunities.
Hohenwerfen was originally built in about the 10th Century A.D. The castle is reported to have taken on many and varied roles throughout the ages past. At differing times it has been used as a fortress, a prison, a military base, a hunting retreat and, much more recently, as a training ground for Austrian Gendarmerie (which was a rural military force bestowed with general police duties that existed in the last century).
The castle’s history throughout the ages has been quite eventful. It has survived two previous fires and been made famous by movies….
Today it mainly serves as an “Adventure Castle” for tourists and sightseers who, like ourselves, will travel from all around the world to become acquainted with its mediaeval past and historically rich treasures. Even within the short, couple of hours we spent there, we were able to explore the fortress chapel, the armoury and arsenal, many of the different implements of early torture, the pitch kitchen, the canons, and so much more.
The exciting highlight of our afternoon at Hohenwerfen was a rather impressive falconry display which provided us with an opportunity to acquaint ourselves with the high art of falconry from a very close range. This last video link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoelMLY3SdI.will take you to a You Tube video showing this impressive falconry display if you decide to visit.
These beautiful birds were spectacular in flight. There were vultures, red kites, owls and several others.
What an amazingly interesting afternoon…. All in all another great day!