A few weeks ago, I ran across a mention in a guide book of the Castle Aggstein, about 90 minutes from Vienna. Well, of course you know what my Monty Python-obsessed better half started quoting.
Clearly, we had to visit, and soon. In fact, Aggstein proved to be somewhat less Pythonesque than the place we stopped on the way home, Schallaburg.
It was a 59 degree rainy, windy day (in July!) and so I didn’t get a lot of good photos. But the castle was fun to climb around, the food in the tavern was great in a rib-sticking sort of way, and the weather cleared up on the way home for a nice drive along the Donau. Just another Sunday in Austria.
A silly kniggit guarding the entrance.
Aggstein is located 300 meters over a bend in the Donau (Danube) making it the perfect location for piracy and extortion since the 12th century.
The castle is built right into the rock, and has never been overthrown or conquered by force except for a prolonged siege by the Turks in 1529.
Overlooking the Wachau valley.
The facilities, with a 100 foot drop underneath.
There are Alpine flowers poking out everywhere.
Queen Anne’s lace.
For a brief moment I wished I had a little warrior with me in need of a shield and sword. Then I got over it.
Unusual Renaissance-era terra-cotta gallery at Schallaburg. This is the most interesting part of what it otherwise an undistinguished castle.
There are dozens of faces like this, all different.
My personal favorite.
You see what I mean by Pythonesque. Terry Gilliam could have done this one.
Franz the Byzantine guards the demonstration garden.
Renaissance-era kitchen garden.
Very old apple orchard with some seriously good-looking apples on the way.