Guide written in 2004.All photos are from film. Moving it here from another site that is closing tomorrow.
Kufstein with its 15 000 inhabitants and 503m above sea level is the second biggest city of Tirol after Innsbruck.
The first thing I remembered about it was the white castle built ot a hill in the middle of the city. You can’t miss it if you enter the city by car or just drive by on the A12 Highway. What you couldn’t knew is that every day at noon, beautiful sounds of organ* music are filling the air, reaching as far as the forest at the foohills of the Kaiser Valley /Kaisertal/. Actually that was where I was the first time I heard it….I was taking an exploration walk on those wooden steps in the forest when magic notes came to my ears from afar…. I realized it was the castle’s open air organ….It still felt strange to hear some classic music playing in the middle of the silence of the forest….
Located in the Kufstein fortress ( Via Imperialis castles ) the * – Heroes Organ – built in 1931, the largest free-standing organ IN THE WORLD in the fortress citizen’s tower ,with 4 307 working pipes.
Kufstein and its area
First mentioned as “Coafstein” in the Bishop Arn of Salzburg’s list of properties. Described as a market town in 1257 and raised to town status with protective wall by the Duke Stefan III of Bavaria in 1393. Relics of the town walls are the ” Water Bastion” and the “Water tower”.
Numerous attacks were generally successfully rebuffed by the fortress. Only Emperor Maximilian I was able in 1504 to conquer the fortress defended by the Bavarian Hans von Pienzenau. And Andreas Hofer, the legendary Tyrolean Freedom fighter, was also unable to drive out the Bavarian occupants.
Riedl crystal factory is also located in the town ,aswell as Kneissl skis
24 october 2005 – It’s about time I reoganise and complete my Kufstein page – this town has been my home for about two months an I am not paying him the proper tribute
- In a nutshell:Kufstein it Beautiful
It was first mentioned in 1205 as being owned by the the Patriarch of Regensburg. It joined Tirol under the reign of Kaiser Maximilian I. The Fortress was sieged and conquered in 1504 and was rebuilt and fortified until 1522. From that time is dating the Emperor’s Tower – Kaiserturm that was later turned into Jail for political criminals. Today here is located the local museum and in the castle tower – Burgenturm in 1931 was built the biggest open air organ in the world.
There are two ways to get to the fortress – the corridors that you see on the photo or the panorama elevator Maximilian. it’s up to you which one you’ll choose . The walkway has a humid authentic dungeon atmosphere,with some windows here and there, from which you can admire the city. The elevator is way to quick for my taste.
Remains From the Prehistorical ages – bear squelettons that have been found in Tishofer Hohle / Tishofer Cave located nearby in the Kaiser valley
Unterer Stadtplatz is the most famous and central street in Kufstein descending steeply down to the central bridge over the Inn river.On its way it passes by the Town hall and the Kufstein Fortress on its left, aswell as a couple of italian Pizzarias – say hello to Nino ;)) On its right side you will find book and souvenir stores, a grocery store, some cafes , a restaurant and a famous golden statue.
At the end if it , just before you go to the bridge, take a look to the left – here is hiding the Magic street of Auracher Lochl
Directions: In the center
The backyard of the castle is where special events and concerts are taking place, there is also a small botanical garden and modern art statues
The Inn Promenade at sunset dominated by the castle , watching over the town as a silent sentinel and contemplating his reflection in the waters of the Inn river.
Directions: In the center
From the gardens of the fortress you can see Kufstein from a bird’s view with the Inn river dividing it in two and the Pendling mountain (1565m) that had always brought associations with a vulcano in my mind.
Romerhof Lane – Part of the Kufstein Old Town with the famous “Auracher Lochl” and “Batzenhausl” wine taverns. The small street located at the foot of the castle and is the most enchanting place in Kufstein. It contains souvenir shops where you can buy traditional “Tracht” – austrian national costumes, a shop for ethno jewellry , a club, one of the oldest restaurents in Kufstein, Hotel Auracher ,the memorial of Karl Ganzer – composer of the world famous Kufstein Lied.
With the beautiful ridge of the Wilder Kaiser on the back ,The Antonius chapel is acessed by a walking route going in the Kaiser Valley, About an hour walking distance from the start of the trail at the end of Kufstein. You can see the chapel on numerous poscards of the region, but it’s always better to go see it for yourself.
The tree king or Ent ( as they were called in “Lord of the rings” ) was standing at the side of the road ,watching over the pedestrians. Isn’t he just impressive , with his old hands raised to reach the sky. He even has a mouth ,but you gotta look carefully as the pic is sombre. He is dressed with moss ,to keep him warm during winter :)))
Not really a cave in the proper sense of the word ,or at least not the way I imagined it , the Tishofer Cave is located in the steep rocky wall over the river ( see the second pic ) , and is acessed by a weaving narrow trail. Rather a cavity than a cave , the place is round and spacious and there are no hidden galleries on the back. It reminds me more of a huge amphitheater. There are no stalactites or stalacmites ,but you can set a fire or spend the night – there are enough options for that.
You actually never give it a thought as you pass the Inn river on the highway , but the bycicle route goes under the Highway Bridge . It’s when you realise what a massive construction this is!!! I used it as a shelter from the rain once.
Nearby is a water reservoir with emerald waters.
The bycicle route is following the path of the Inn river all the way to Innsbruck and maybe beyond….
Kufstein is on the way from Munchen > Milano , Salzburg > Bregenz ….anyways major rail routes. This makes the train station quite a big one.
The great thing about it it’s that it is situated in the pure heart of the city ,and everything is about 5-10 mins walking distance.