Kufstein is settled since more than 30.000 years.
Following the traces of King Otto I. of Greece on his long March to the South (which required the strength of a Lion, another “Löwenmarsch”), the swarm also visited city Kufstein in Tyrol Austria.
Kufstein has a very impressive, strategically well situated big old Castle on a small rocky mountain on the side of the town and river. A deep drilled well provides sufficient water for the castle making it hard to conquer.
I suggest playing this iconic song of Franzl Lang (from Munich) to add more authentic atmosphere to this episode. (Probably Lang’s most famous song)
The possession of the town was long disputed between Witttelsbacher Bavaria and the Habsburger Austrian Dynasty. It came under Habsburger rule 1506 after Habsburger Emperor Maximilian I. made a deal. Deciding in the Landshuter Heritage war in favor of Albrecht IV but receiving Kufstein as price of the deal.
Commander of Kufstein Hans von Pienzenau rejected the deal receiving some extra money from the Palatine Bavarians. And did not give up the castle. After cannons like “Die Dicke Berta” (fat Berta) or the “Burgunderin” (lady from Burgund) did not do the job, Maximilian I. brought in two mighty cannons from Innsbruck with the nice, lyric names “Purlepaus” and “Weckauf”.
Maximilian understood very well that war is decided by money.
We saw his quote on the castle.
Governor Hans von Pienzenau together with 17 other culprits was decapitated after giving up. Not following the normal knightly etiquette at that time. (According to a tale the procedure was stopped after the 18’th convict decapitated with a plea for clemency and a Maulschelle for the pleaer)
Mighty Maximilian is known as the last knight and first artillerist but also as major of Augsburg, Germany, where he borrowed a lot of money from the wealthy trader Fugger family. Son Karl V. also from the Welser Family.
Maximilian I. and son Karl promoted Artist Albrecht Dürer from Nuremberg with an annual tution (which had to be payed by Nuremberg). Dürer in times mainly worked for Maximilian and portrayed the emperor.
Bavarian Wittelsbacher Max Emanuel could conquer Castle Kufstein 1703. In an outstanding coup of Major Tardif. Who, with only 50 Bavarian climbers could bypass the narrow impregnable stairways and overcome the guards in their tower at the iron gate.
(Which reminds me of the coup during the battle at the Veronese Klause 1155 of Wittelsbacher Duke Otto I. of Bavaria bailing out emperor Barbarossa)
But was lost soon later after the Tyrolian Farmer insurgency 1704. (Bayerischer Rummel)
We enjoyed more comfort and used the Emperor Maximilan I. mountain funicular railway up to the castle.
It together with the help of the then transitional allied Frensh came back under Bavarian rule and could be held by the Bavarians in the insurgence 1809 under Napoleon rule by the Bavarians (Andreas Hofer). After Napoleon was toppled and the Wittelsbacher had changed sides just in time, it was given back to Habsburgian Austria (like Braunau am Inn).
But Bavaria received Franconia (Backpack Bavaria) and the Future Bavarian Palatinate left of the Rhine River.
The castle was also used as prison. Inmates at that time would only receive water and some bread. If they would not have been sponsored by friends or families. But the cells had a nice view overlooking the beautiful, impressive Inn Valley. Some famous insurgents from Hungary were barred here.
Since 1931 the castle puts up the “Heldenorgel” (Hero-Organ) which is played every day at noon and can be heard far away.
Today the castle is also a place for cultural events.
Sissi decided to do some knightly training.
We also visited the church St. Vitus.
Kufstein was and is an important transport hub on the way across the Alps from South to North. (Brenner Motorway to Innsbruck and Italy, Inn River, train route)
Of course we also found time to enjoy the old city and some food and drinks along the Inn river. After we marched in in Kufstein starting from Kiefersfelden.
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