The fortress of Hohenwerfen
Hohenwerfen fortress is a medieval rock castle. It is located on a 623 metres (2,044 ft) precipice overlooking the Austrian market town of Werfen in the Salzach river valley. It is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of Salzburg. Hohenwerfen is a small “sister” of the fortress of Hohensalzburg, both built by the Archbishops of Salzburg in the 11th century. The name of the major builder’s archbishop was Gebhard of Salzburg.
a strategical defense fortress in the Austrian Alps
The fortress Hohenwerfen was built between 1075 and 1078 during the Imperial Investiture Controversy. It was a strategic bulwark at the top of a 155-metre (509 ft) high rock. Gebhard, an ally of Pope Gregory VII and the anti-king Rudolf of Rheinfelden, held three major castles extended to secure the route across the Eastern Alps along the Salzach river against the forces of King Henry IV of Germany: these were Hohenwerfen, Hohensalzburg and Petersburg Castle at Friesach (Carinthia). Gebhard was expelled from King Henry in 1077 and were not allowed to return to Salzburg until 1086.
Hohenwerfen was for the rulers of Salzburg not only a military base but also a residence and hunting retreat area. It was extended in the 12th century and also in the 16th century. During the German Peasants’ War in 1525-1526 farmers and miners from the south of Salzburg destroyed the castle – on their move towards the city the were laying fire and did a lot of damage.
From time to time it was also used as a state prison. It was not the best place to stay there – there were definitely inhumane conditions. Sometimes also noble guests were sitting behind its prison walls like the archbishop Adalbert III in 1198, Count Albert of Friesach in 1253, and Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau – perhaps you remember him from the Saltmines in Bad Dürrnberg or Mirabell Palace.
The use today of the fortress of Hohenwerfen
During the centuries it was going through many different owners – the most famous ones perhaps was the Habsburg family of Austria. Then of course it was also in the hands of the Austrian government and after World War II it was used as a training camp by the Austrian Gendarmerie (rural police) until 1987.
Nowadays the fortress functions as a museum. The museum has different main topics and it is more than fascination to walk through different centuries and climb up the biggest tower of the fortress to have a great overview over the valley of the Salzach river. Also guided tours are done which are showing its extensive weapons collection, the historical Salzburg Falconry (in summertime two times a day) with the falconry museum as well as a fortress tavern. The historic Falconry center is a special attraction, offering daily flight demonstrations using various birds of prey, including eagles, falcons, hawks, and vultures
Hollywood & fortress Hohenwerfen
You will be surprised, but also Hollywood loves this area and the medieval fortress of Hohenwerfen was used as background and movie locations for several films. Perhaps you know some of them:
In the 1968 cinema film Where Eagles Dare the castle featured as the fictional Schloss Adler, command headquarters of the 3rd Rich, raided by an Anglo-American paratroop team during World War 2.
Also Just Married with Ashton Kutscher was done there in 2003, where it was used as French Hotel.
Season three of Angel used the castle as a monastery located in Sri Lanka, where Buffy summers died.
Perhaps you remember The 10th Kingdom? Also there the castle appears in the movie.
And of course it was used during the “do-re-mi-picnic scene” in The Sound of Music. Behind Julie Andrews when the kids learned to sing with here you see the valley of Werfen and the hillside with the castle.
There were also a few other movies, I do not want to count them all.
Drive with us to the Fortress of Hohenwerfen and enjoy a spectacular walk through the centuries. Learn more about this area and the Salzach valley and see the eagles flying. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg. Best regards and a good travel Bespecialtours!
King Ludwig’s Versailles – the palace of Herrenchiemsee
King Ludwig is for sure one of the most famous person of Bavaria and for sure on of the most famous royal of Germany. He was only the ruler of Bavaria and with his idea of not caring that much any more for the state he started to get more and more into his dreamworld and did everything in order to make his dreamworld as alive as possible. On one side he helped underdeveloped areas with his construction to give jobs to people there and also nowadays as a tourist attraction but on the other hand also brought the state very close to bankruptcy.
The most famous castle he constructed was “Neuschwanstein” which was also used by Disney as a typically dream castle and takes place in several Disney stories. Hid dreamworld was it to construct different palaces and castles to strengthen his fantasy even more. He was able to create three palaces of which only one has been finished: The “Linderhof”, the smallest place close to Oberammergau. The second most advanced was the place of “Neuschwanstein”, nearby Füssen and the third palace is the palace of “Herrenchiemsee, on the lake of Chiemsee. For each palace he used a different theme. For Neuschwanstein and Linderhof he used as a basis Richard Wagner, the palace of Herrenchiemsee is a difference: He used for this palace as a basis the famous “sun king of France”: Ludwig the 14th. who also created the palace of Versailles.
The royal palace of Herrenchiemsee reflects the Bavarian style and the dream world at it’s best: It was the last project of King LudwigII of Bavaria and ended with his death in the year 1886 at a mostly unfinished condition. After a travel to France and a visit of the palace of Versailles King Ludwig wanted to create a similar palace in Bavaria. After hearing that the island of Herrenchiemsee will be sold, King Ludwig bought the island. Even if the island was flat and the Chiemgau area was not full of mountains and did not appear to King Ludwig as great but the island turned out to be the perfect area to build the copy of Versailles, as it is very private and not easy to get there. The big ideal was King Ludwig 14th from France who used to say: “I am the state” and saw himself as the sun king because of the favors towards the church. The palace of Herrenchiemsee is the most expensive palace of King LudwigII: It costed until his death more than the Linderhof and the castle of Neuschwanstein together. With the building of the castles he supported a lot the local industry and increased the handcrafted arts to the peak of that time.
King Ludwig decided for each castle to have a collection: In Herrenchiemsee he hosted his clock and watch collection, in Linderhof his Vase collection and in Neuschwanstein his collection of swans.
Even if King Ludwig’s last wish was it that nobody should ever see the inside of his castles and that they should be destroyed after his death, the state of Bavaria opened just several weeks after his death the castles and are nowadays one of the biggest tourist attractions in Germany. So enjoy and see the palace of Herrenchiemsee.
The royal King ludwig’s palace of Herrenchiemsee on the men’s island of the Chiemsee shows you perfectly how King Ludwig lived and how he created his dream world around him and how he wanted to bring it to the standard of the 19th century. In his last wish King Ludwig wanted that each palace and castle should be destroyed after his death. Lucky the Bavarian state decided differently and gives us now days the possibility to visit all of his dream castles and brings us closer to his ideas and lifestyle. Each room and exhibition item will be explained during a tour of the palace and shows you all the different steps of the construction. Enjoy also the unfinished part of the palace that explains you even more the development of this palace. See, feel and enter the dreamworld of this eccentric king and why he brought the state almost to bankruptcy due to the master builder of King LudwigII!
Enjoy a trip to the lake of Chiemsee and visit this palace with Be Special Tours. Have fun in Salzburg with Be special tours!
The Waterfall of Golling
The Golling waterfall, originally called Schwarzbachfall or Schwarzenbachfall, is a waterfall located in the Tennengau (Austria) on the municipal border between Golling on the Salzach and Kuchl. It is at about 30 kilometers (18,6 miles) from Salzburg and at about 10 kilometers (6,2 miles) from Hallein, the municipal city of the Tennengau. The waterfall has a drop of around 100 meters (around 300ft.) and comes directly from the Schwarzbachfall cave.
two waterfalls behind each other at the Göllmassiv mountain
The Golling waterfall consists of two consecutive waterfalls located on the eastern slope of the Göllmassiv, to the left in the Salzachtal at the Nikolausberg above the pilgrimage’s church. It has a drop height of 75 meters (around 230ft.), with the last stage having a height of 25 meters(ca. 75 ft.). The upper stage is covered by a natural bridge. You can walk the whole way up and get real amazing impressions of the waterfall and the cave were the water comes to the surface.
The waterfall gets all its water from a karst source, which drains the Göllstock mountain, and comes through the system of the Schwarzbachfall cave. The cave portal is 5 meters (ca. 15ft.) wide, but only about one meter high, and little deep. A recent suspected outflow from the Königssee could not be confirmed by recent researches. In spite of all this, colored water seems to be found in the Golling waterfall starting from a certain place in the Königssee – so maybe there is a connection. There is also an old Celtic legend, which I shall return to later.
At a 5-6 °C (around 38°F) water temperature and has a flow of a minimum of 30liters (about 10 gallons) to a maximum of 42,416 liters (14000 gallons) per second.
The waterfall and the power to it
Passing by two decaying mills, which are located directly at the brook you are on a lovely and romantic way. Along the way there are always benches.
Even if the vegetation seems alpin – the start of the waterfall is at 500m altitude, so not even 100m above the height of the city of Salzburg.
From the foot of the waterfall you can see two bridges in the upper part, called the Witch’s Cauldron.
The climb on the left side of the waterfall can be done up to the level of the wooden bridge (safe shoes are recommended). The path is regularly maintained and renovated and made accessible to you as a visitor. From the height of the wooden bridge, the path is partly washed out, some of the remains of fallen trees are present.
The walkway is largely provided with a handrail, stairs facilitate walking across the floor and stone – the picture comes from the lower section of the excursion destination, the path to the waterfall.
The path was originally built by Ernst Fürst von Schwarzenberg. Along the path there are signs.
This path is not ideal for people with limited walking or strollers. In this case we would recommend staying at the lower waterfall.
The celtic mythology around the waterfall
You will be surprised, but some people say that this place is mystically and full pf power. It is up to you to believe or not but during research lately scientists found out that the celtics already used this location as a power place on which also celtic celebrations took place.
If it was a place at which also sacrifices were made we do not know.
But also the celtic mythologies took place: It is said that somewhere in the mountain of the Hoher Göll, from were the waterfalls start, there is a place where the should of the dead strong celtic soldiers are stored in tone vases. Any girl that wants to be pregnant has to take a bath at the bottom of the second waterfall and then 9months later she should get a strong and powerful baby.
So who knows if this is the only mythology that took place there.
Another mythology is told that there used to live a white alpine goat and whoever kills that goat will die tragically.
You see that it is a powerful and also natural sight. So enjoy this place and learn more about it.
Drive with us to the waterfall of Golling and enjoy a spectacular walk through the nature to the waterfall. Learn more about this area and the Salzach valley and see the magic of water. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg. Best regards and a good travel Bespecialtours!
The world’s biggest ice caves in Werfen
Here in Werfen – high up in the mountains – there is a hidden jewel within the mountain: The biggest ice caves of the world
a fascination of Ice and a cave in the Austrian Alps
This cave is not only a fascinating and big cave but already the way getting there is very interesting. There is a steep road already driving the the parking from where a new designed entrance hall welcomes you and where you can see already some of the nicest crystals that have been found n the area. After that the walk to the cable car takes you either on the side of the mountain with great views or choose to go through a newly constructed tunnel and see structure of the mountain and see the different stone colors. The cable car is one of the steepest in Austria and was used also in the movie “where eagle’s dare” with the old cabins. Due to new regulations a new cable car has been installed and brings you up in safety and faster. After getting out of the cable car a restaurant with typically Austrian specialities and the hike to the entrance of the ice caves. The hike takes about 15 minutes and shows you very scenic and great views down to the Salzach river valley, the village of Werfen and the surrounding mountains. The hike from the valley up to the entrance of the Ice caves takes about 2,5h and is for well-trained hikers. First time, it was hiked was at the beginning of the 19th century when hiking became a new sport. Already in the 15th century relicts show that farmers used this path to bring cows up to the top of the mountain where food and deserted areas helped farmers to make a new living.
The first time the ice caved were discovered was in the second half of the 19th century due to the lack of interest in cave discovery and also due to the very exposed location. In the year 1879 the discoverer Anton Posselt-Czorich went by himself over 600feet into the cave and issued a book about his discovery.
Only in the year 1913 some more discoverer went into the cave. After the first world war the real discovery of the cave, the very long cave system and the possibility to constructing a way for discovering the cave and to make it open for visitors.
The touristic importance was already discovered in the 1920ies with the installation of a hut for people to sleep in and for discovery. Already in 1924 a very big house was constructed and brought for people the possibility to sleep there and do discoveries of the cave.
With the increasing popularity of the cave, better paths and more important installations were made to open it for the public. It is owned by the Austrian forest organization (a state owned company) and a high percentage of the entrance fees is going every year to this organization.
In the year 2020 an incident with falling rocks happened on the way to the ice caves and therefore new security measures for the way have been installed and will be done to guarantee a constant and safe way to the cave and back.
With a continue increase of tourist in the year 1955 a cable car was installed to overcome the steepest and most difficult part of the path and lasted until the year 2010 when a new, more secure and more efficient cable car was installed.
The fascination of ice and the cave
Why do the people come in this cave every year and see the fascination of ice and the darkness of the caves? The reason is jus very simple: History and the discover of the heritage and the development of the earth. Ice is the best possibility to discover different times and water contains most of the world’s DNA. With a flame ice shows the most important and fascinating aspect: light and colors. It is the most fascinating part of visiting the cave to see the different ice formations that are lighted by the guides.
The development of the cave is a still ongoing process, even if only very few inches per year the cave is still increasing as is being developed. It has been developed over 100 million years ago due to the water erosion it cute out the cave under the mountain. Over thousands of years the cave was expanded very fast. Nowadays due to the lack of the high quality of water within the mountain it is expanded only very few. Nowadays about 27miles of the cave have been discovered and explored.
The ice cave is a dynamic ice formation and changes it’s outlook every year a bit. Due to winds, amount of water per winter, etc the ice figures can be changed and newly formatted. Each year the gate into the ice caves remain open during the winter in order to allow the ice to create the fascinating ice figures.
In the time between May and End of October you can discover the ice caves. Please be aware to take a jacket with you due to the temperature difference at the entrance it may happen that you have heavy winds at the entrance. But this is only at the entrance soon afterwards there is no more wind inside. The ice can be easily overcome by just walking up the stairs.
Drive with us to the Ice caves Werfen and enjoy a spectacular walk to the Ice caves and enjoy the fascination of Ice and lots of history. Learn more about this area and the Salzach valley. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg. Best regards and a good travel Be Special Tours!
The Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart
In Stuttgart you will find the museum of Mercedes Benz: It provides you a learning experience about the first car of the world and also about the history of this world company
We are sure you have heard about that company but the museum will really open your mind, even if you are not an automobile enthusiast.
a fascination of technique, Innovation and Future
The Mercedes Benz museum combines it all: From the first automobile invented by Carl Benz in 1886 to the whole history of Mercedes-Benz and Daimler-Benz to the new future of modern technology it will be covered all. The Museum brings you alive the history of cars on 9 different floors with the trends of their time and the innovation of new safety, new innovation and technique. It shows the legacy cars of Mercedes, what was behind and also some unknown parts and their race history.
Mr. Carl Benz has startet in 1883 a company of making gas engines. When he developed his first car (self-driven- carriage) and his wife proofed that it was possible to drive, already the first production of cars started in Germany. The beginning was everything else but easy. In the first years only 83 cars were produced but until 1900 already over 1.700cars. This immediately brought up other companies that produced cars. One of the most famous one was Daimler in the year 1890. Since the distributor of Daimler, called Jellinek wanted to use it also for races in southern France. He named the car Mercedes, as his daughter’s name. After the biggest order for Daimler at that time was made for Mr. Jellinek of 36 Mercedes Daimler cars, the name started to be established. In the year 1926 the Deutsch Bank suggested a fusion of the two companies Mercedes-Daimler and Benz and the success was born. In the 1930ies the legendary “Silberpfeile” (the silver arrows) were born and succeeded all of the high speed races and rally races. With modern technique and more reliable engines it was possible to win over the competition and the success started to be around the world. Especially the US market started to become the most important export market for Mercedes Benz until the 1980ies other german brands such as BMW and Audi started to become competitors in that market too. In the years 1998 the fusion with Chrysler happened that was dissolved in 2007.
The museum shows a long history and also many installations with more background and side exhibitions of the history of Mercedes Benz.
The fascination of Mercedes and cars
Already the building in form of a triangle has won many architectural prices and made by a Dutch architect. This is the reason why it is possible to make the visit on 9 different floors and opens opportunities to use them in many varieties for different special exhibitions. Walking through you will see over 130years of automotive history. During the walk you will see two different types of paths:
- The Mythology path to show the history of the brand Mercedes Benz.
- Mythology pioneers – development of the automotive (1886-1900)
- Mythology Mercedes – development of the brand (1901-1914)
- Mythology Change – compressor, diesel, gasoline (1914-1945)
- Mythology “wonder years” – Form and variety (1945-1960)
- Mythology advance thinkers – Safety and environment (1960- 1982)
- Mythology Change – the way to emission free mobility (1982-today)
- Mythology “Silberpfeile” (silver arrows) – races and records
- The Collection path that shows special edition cars, or anything around the core history.
- Collection: travel
- Collection: transportation of goods
- Collection: helpers
- Collection: names
- Collection: Héros
During the walk through the museum you have always views over to the town of Stuttgart and to the production site where you will find on the roof a test center for new products and can see sometimes some of the covered vehicles to learn about the future. Sometimes it is possible to see more than you expect, such as camouflaged card, special edition cars and sometimes also a test of a new vehicle around the museum, or sometimes even some of the most expensive cars ever made.
The collection of cars of the brand started already in the 1930ies. Inside the collection are at the moment 1500 facts and 160vehicles.
Before the exit there is the possibility to enjoy a coffee in the cafeteria and then at the end before returning back to the car parking lot there is a very big store of Mercedes Benz Collection goods and also of Mercedes Benz Historic good, as die cast models, fashion, travel, etc.
Enjoy the Mercedes Benz history and be driven there by one of our Mercedes Benz vehicles.
Drive with us to Stuttgart and enjoy the nice drive over to it, or combine it with stops in between in a more-days trip in Munich, the King Ludwig’s castles, or the black forest. Learn more about southern Germany. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg, or Austria. Best regards and a good travel with Be special Tours!
Hallein – from an industrial town to Creativity
Hallein is a city in the region of Salzburg that shows you a hard-working and salt city that brought to the city of Salzburg lots of money and nice buildings. It was a city that really established in the 12th century and is a city that is nowadays really involving into a new lifestyle city. Historically wise this town was always a very hard-working city as being the city where the salt was heated and packed, where the timber from the mountains was taken out of the river of Salzach. A very famous composer originated from this town: Franz Xaver Gruber (the co-composer of the famous christmas song: Silent night, holy night).
Timber plays still nowadays an important role in the town since the former factory of paper is used as fiber company that produces nowadays still lots of viscose textile paper and bio energy for the town of Hallein and it’s surrounding villages.
Even if in the second world war the town hosted a big factory of engines for airplanes and trucks it was not destroyed by bombs. It was until the 1980ies the industrial zone of Salzburg. There were machine productions, textile industry, paper industry, wood industry, a pharmaceutical company and some distribution centers. Nearby also the company of Sony started to produce CDs and the company of Skidata started to produce here.
In the 1990ies the city needed lots of workers and many foreign immigrants ended in the city of Hallein since jobs were available and the people were considered hard working but still friendly. Nowadays the city of Hallein is city that gives lots of opportunities to new startups, new ideas and grows again to a quaint city. Renovations within the city help to see the new structure of the city and the new upraising creativity. This helps to resettle new young people and the nearby university in Puch and Kuchl is even bringing students to this area. The city of Hallein is nowadays starting to become a green area and is starting to publish also the excellent surrounding mountains and the industrial flair is falling of the town but the history, nature and innovation is on the go.
Hallein is the second biggest city in the region of Salzburg. It shows you how new and industrial architecture can fit into a nice charming old town. When you want to see how industries worked already in the middle ages then do not miss out the fascinating and interesting museum of Hallein (Keltenmuseum). You will learn hoe this city is dating back to the celtic times and how the history of salt production and other industries have influences this city and it’s surroundings. Around at christmas time it is a must to see the all year open museum about the world famous christmas song: Silent night, holy night. Franz Xaver Gruber, one of the two composers of this song lived and died in the city of Hallein. By walking through the town, you will see courts and yards where you see history totally alive, such as the old buildings, the pilgrim’s places, the places where salt was weighted, dried and cleaned.
But also you can see and explore more about this town in the panorama picture in the city hall which is dating back already to the beginning of the 19th century and shows that innovation was always welcomed in this city. As one of the trends to make a round panoramic picture Hallein was one of the first towns in Austria to have it. The longest and the most avantgarde schools, such as the fashion school of Hallein and the Wood school of Kuchl are examples to bring out innovative ideas. The industries and communities welcome these talents and support them by giving them facilities and spaces to create their ideas. In the old salt halls on the Perner island each year several summits take place where artists and innovators can develop ideas under professional guidance and where they can then present these ideas to the public.
a must-see is the celtic museum of Hallein where this fascinating histories shown to you and you can see the history evolving. From the celtic times, starting on the ground floor, to the salt production and how this changed the whole city, on the first floor, over the middle ages until the 19th century where you can see the pictures, done some local artists in the 18th and 19th century on the painted walls the pictures show you what work and how the work was here in Hallein on the second floor where you can also visit the rooms where nobel people and the bishops ruled and slept whenever they were in the town of Hallein to check about the salt production. You will also find lots of hints and artifacts that show you and teach you more about how innovative people were in former times and how this is still influencing our everyday life.
So come and see this city, that is developing newly with lots of efforts and lots of creativities. The perfect combination between history, industry and untouched and powerful nature in the surroundings, such as the Lammertal, the mountains and the woods.
Hallein reflects the salt culture very well and brings you back in time. It also explains a lot about some of our nowadays usage of salt. It shows how salt was important in former times and how it reflects even to nowadays. Since Hallein was also the city where salt was taken out of the mine in a sole water it needed to be heated, dried and cleaned in the city of Hallein. Over many years it needed a lot of wood and therefore the wood has been supplied form the mountain valleys, timber has been cut and then thrown in the river of Salzach to the town of Hallein and Salzburg. But in Hallein a canal was already built in the 16th century to deviate the wood from the rest of the river and to collect it and then dry the book on the sandbanks in the town of Hallein. Nowadays the former canal is still there, dried and used as a new place for the city. Since the 2nd world war it has been transformed into a place for homes, playgrounds for children and tennis courts. At the beginning of the 20th century the longest swimming pool in central Europe was opened with a wood slide and a wood toboggan to jump into the pool and with lots of innovative ideas on how to learn to swim and to have fun in the water. The former major of Hallein wanted to create a lot of new things for this town to take away the fear of the water from the people since flooding were the biggest threat in this town. Unfortunately after the second world war it has been forgotten and taken down since people needed jobs and the industry was very weak. Of this swimming pool still some remains can be found. After the second world war lots of refugees were settled in Hallein, since it was the fastest growing city in Austria and the industry used the perfect infrastructure towards the south and north. Therefore it became the industrial center of the Salzburg region and after a lot of takeovers in the 1990ies the former industry town turned into a forgotten town. Luckily the inhabitants and the region had different plans and nowadays former industrial buildings are used for startup companies to settle there, supports by the universities have been given in Puch and Kuchl and they plan to settle more schools and education places here, since the grounds are cheaper than in the city of Salzburg being only 20minutes away from the town of Salzburg. So take a look at this nice charming town as it increases it’s lifestyle, culture and newly gained self-confidence again. Travel with Be special tours to this town and enjoy the scenic area around this town.
Hallein is nowadays not only the heritage of it’s own history but also a start for new ideas for young entrepreneurs and creative people. You will see this at the local cuisines in the town and you will see it in some locations for artists and new ideas. You will see also throughout the history of the industry in the area as well as the old industrial buildings are used as get together places for students, artists, startups and traditions. But do not miss out to try one of the local beers and take the time to see the surrounding mountains and the Salzach valley, where you can explore the power and quietness of nature. Visit Hallein and learn a lot of this city – history and fascinating stories of medieval time, christmas and vines – bespecialtours!
Hallein city tours and Celtic tour
If you want to enjoy some great time in Hallein, book a private tour to Hallein with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Salzburg, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the town of Hallein and continue a nice drive either through Bavaria, or Austria. So if you are planning to come to Hallein, or if you want to Visit the city of Hallein and the scenic mountains, or Berchtesgaden from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes and of course a lot of Beer! Enjoy the fascinating city of Hallein – Hallein and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – Be Special Tours!
Krems – City and vineyards in Austria
Krems is a city in Austria that shows you a hard-working and still laid-back philosophy of the Wachau Valley part of Austria. The first human relicts date back to already 25.000 years before christ as a children’s grave has been found. The first settlements in the area date back to the time of the romans since it was in a very strategically position. The Danube gorge though the Wachau valley ends in the city of Krems and here the hilly area ends and the flat basin to Vienna and Hungary opens up and from a rough hilly area you go to smooth flat area to Vienna. Krems had therefore always a strategically position for taking taxes of traders going down the Danube and for transporters to go up to Bohemia and the norther area. At Krems already in the 11th century a bridge has been opened. The city of Krems was also quite some times famous for fights and supports that were brought over the river of the danube to support the troops in Vienna, or to defeat the northern territories of Austria against invaders. One of the most famous event was when the turns occupied the city of Vienna and without the support over the bridge by Krems would have changed the history of Vienna.
But Krems was important in the 17th century when in the area some reformation between catholics and lutherans was very much ongoing. The Swedish troops came to support the protestants and were fought back in the 30years war by the Habsburg’s amy( within these fights more than half of the houses in Krems and the neighbor village Stein were destroyed.
Thought history lots of things took place in the city of Krems. In the second world war the cit was the main city of the area and a new port has been constructed. Unfortunately also a prisoner’s camp had been constructed. During a bombing in the second world war with over 100 death people. After the second world war the expansion of the port and the danube helped a lot to increase the city and its importance. With the opening of the university of Krems and the opening of the Fachhochschule Krems has become an important student city in Austria, since Vienna has become a very expensive city and Krems is not far away from Vienna and surrounded by lots of vineyards.
Wine has always played a very important role in the history of Krems. Also the location is a very important factor because Krems is at the end of the Danube gorge and Wachau valley. Already the romans produced wine in the Wachau valley and also the wine has been also transported down the Danube.
Krems nowadays is not only important for it’s fascinating buildings and history but also for it’s important role of wine and education in Austria. With the third biggest industrial port in Austria and companies like the VOEST Alpine Krems, the Eybl International and Dynea company, also jobs are available. Due to the fact that these companies settled here in Krems they also support the universities and educational institutions to increase high quality education for everybody in the area of Krems.
At the moment there are 12 public kindergarten, 7 elementary schools, 10 middle and high schools, tourism school, wine culture and wine producing education and 5 universities and colleagues, of which 2 are private universities. These are considered some of the leading universities in Austria. It is one of the biggest cities in Austria where a lot of money are spent for research & education.
Besides that you can also explore outside of the city center a perfectly preserved nature and a nature that gives also some of the finest wines back to the population. Without any chemicals and pollution it is the reason why the wine in this area is considered one of the best and most important wines in the are and also quality wise one of the leadings from the area of lower Austria. People nowadays realize that the city of Krems is getting “younger” within the population as a result of possibilities to find jobs and possibilities to still find land to construct for a relative accessible price.
One of the highlights will be to enjoy the wine of the area and knowing that education is not something old-fashioned but really is part of the daily life and culture in nowadays Austria.
Krems is also considered nowadays the capital of white wine of Austria. In the area more than 87% of the yearly produced wine is white wine. Besides that it is one of the most sportive city in the area with over 24 different sportive clubs including also sports like rowing and water sports on the Danube. Each year the Wachau Marathon and other sportive events take place in the area of Krems. Directly by the city passes the most famous bicycle path in Austria, the Donauradweg, starting by Passau, in Germany and goes through the Wachau valley by the town of Krems directly to Vienna.
Krems is nowadays not only the heritage of it’s own history but also a mirror of a whole region. You will see this especially by doing a cruise through the Wachau valley, also by the lots of Vineyards around the city of Krems and this border town between the danube gorge and the flat area towards vienna. Do not miss out to try one of the local vines and take the time to see also the area surrounding the city, where you can explore how nice this city is settled and how nice the nature is around the town. Visit Krems and learn a lot more of this city – history and vines – bespecialtours!
Krems city tours and Wachau valley tour
If you want to enjoy some great time in Krems, book a private tour to Krems and the Wachau valley with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Vienna, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the town of Krems and continue a nice drive either through the Wachau valley, or to the Göttweig abbey. So if you are planning to come to Krems, or if you want to Visit the city of Krems and the romantic Wachau valley coming from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes and of course a lot of good wine! Enjoy the fascinating city of Krems – Wachau valley and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – Be Special Tours!
Passau – the city on three rivers
Passau is for sure a different city in Bavaria. Some people already call it an Austrian city and others one of the most bavarian cities of Bavaria. This boarder city of Bavaria is directly on the confluence of three rivers. Already the romans realized it’s strategically location and had a roman fort there to protect their empire from invaders. Nowadays the importance of this strategically position is not that important any more but the town is still important for cruise ships that bring tourists along the Danube and also for traders and companies that export to other countries. The confluence of the three rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz played also for the church an important role, especially when the salt trading on the Inn river was the most important income for the area to the salt-less area of Bohemia (nowadays the Czech Republic). The main church of Passau is even nowadays one of the most impressive church in the area.
Nowadays the city of Passau has 50.ooo habitants and is the second biggest city of the province of East Bavaria.
The biggest threat of Passau still nowadays are the high waters that happened quite often in this area due to the rivers. The last big flooding happened in the year 2013 when most parts of the old town were under water.
Passau nowadays welcomes tourists from all over the world with a friendly manner, historically buildings and the biggest church organ in the world. The city itself kept it’s charming character and does not want to change too much and this makes it even nicer.
Passau is a beautiful town. It will bring you back in time to realize how people lived and settled here. The history of Passau reflect that perfectly: The city of Passau was firstly settled by the celtics and during the time of the romans a small fort was established were nowadays the main chruch is standing. In the 5th century the romans left from Passau and already in the 8th century Passau became a bishop’s city. By the end of the 10th century the bishop received also the power to rule over the city of Passau. In the 12th century during the period in chich the iron production became one of the most important industries the bishop received the title of aprince bishop and therefore had also the possibility to get more influence and becoming a ruler over the area and therefore built a new residence and also the Veste oberhaus (the fortress of Passau), which was used as a defensive building and to store the income of the taxes received from traders and barches along the rivers. This also brought also the liberty to allow the freedom of religion of Passau which started already in the 16th century and allowed since that time all kind of confessions. A right that is still active nowadays.
Due to a lot of fires and floodings the comunity of Passau always were very helpful among each other and outsiders because it is still nowadays expected that if a flooding would happen also outsiders will help them. This is one of the specialities of the people of Passau. Even during the second world war when nearby Passau a branche of the concentration camp of Dachau and Mauthausen had been established and destoryed during the bombings in 1945, Passau immediately became a refugee city for people from Slesia, Bohemia and other areas. The local people of Passau worked together with wthe refugees to rebuild the city and to help refugees to integrate immediately in the daily life as it was expected that refugees needed help but also can helo the population to rebuild the destroyed buildings.
Also in the year 2013 when the biggest flooding since over 500 years happened in Passau, students, people from the areas around and the population of Passau helped all together to clean the city from the water and mud that was in the city center. The students have even been awarded by the ministry of Bavaria for their courageous help and work. In the year 2015 when in Europe the big refugee crisis happened Passau became one of the first entry points into Germany and was another time the proof that the population of Passau works together to help for the arrival and welcomed in the best possible way refugees to be then distributed to all other parts of Germany and Austria.
Passau nowadays reflects the Bavarain culture very well and shows you in many ways how the culture can be included in the architecture, the lifestyle and sights. The old town is on a hill upon the confluence of the rivers Inn and Danube. To both sides there are steep roads and steps to get up to the Dom’s square and the St. Stephan’s cathedral. The style reflects italian architecture and the so called Inn and Salzach style and therefore is also named as the Venice of Bavaria. With it’s baroque and renaissance buildings the town reflects perfectly the Bavarian baroque style and this architecture.
The town is directly on the confluence of the three rivers that reflect also their colors and can be seen in many buildings, art and crafts: green, blue and black. The green color from the Inn that originats in the alps and brings lot of minerals with it, the Danube in a blueish color (the deeper river) and the black color from the soil of the Ilz river. The most important buildings to visit are the main cathedral that has been rebuilt after a big fire in the 17th century, where only the gothic east walls from the 15th century remained and nowadays with the biggest church organ in the world, the Dom’s square with the statue of King Max 1st the first bavarian king with a constitution. Besides that the old town hall is definitely worth seeing, with it’s fresco looking as it would be from the 16th century, but made in the 20th century, a complex of 5 buildings, of which one used to be a brewery. People in the city say that still nowadays the best decision are made after som beers. In Bavaria beer is is not considered an alcoholic beverage but part of the daily food and therefore has no drinking age limit. Just be aware that when you order a double „Maß“, it is normally considered as a 3 litre glass (1 for the beer, 2nd because people are really thirsty and the 3rd for god). Passau also has a brewery in town as a typically example of the bavarian culture. Next to the old town hall is also the biggest glass mueum of Germany with the most famous glass products from bohemia and Germany.
Passau is nowadays not only a mixture of the Austrian and Bavarian traditions but also a mirror of how people work together through any crisis but also expect to be helped when needed. You will see it through the architecture and also through the style of how people welcome you in the city. Most of the shops will sell you products form the area and reflect also Bavarian hospital with modern technology. Do not miss out to take a walk along the river of Inn where you will find locals walking and enjoying the sun and the strength of the water while watching the two big rivers flowing together and getting new energy by the calmness of the water. Also you can enjoy some nice chocolate with real gold inside of the famous pastry shop of Simon and watch out when you go to the toilet some times later and realize that it is shining of gold. Visit Passau and learn more about this city – history, funny and informative stories about this time, beer and church live – bespecialtours!
Passau city tours and Passau tour
If you want to enjoy some great time in Passau, book a private tour to Passau with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Munich, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable van, enjoy a guided walking tour through the town of Passau and continue a nice drive either through Germany, or Austria. So if you are planning to come to Passau, or if you want to Visit the city of Passau and the beautiful road coming from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with be special tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes and of course a lot of Beer! Enjoy the fascinating city of Passau – Passau and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – be special tours!
Nürnberg – the capital of ginger bread and toys
Nürnberg takes you back in time. The city of Nürnberg has a very long history dating back tom the time of the 11th century when it became an important city and since that time takes people back into their time: From being a village at the crossroads from north to south and east to west. Already from the beginning the city became the right to hold also markets and this lead also to get the right to print money and charging taxes. From a prosperous city with the right to elect the rulers of Bavaria this city was given over to the population of Nürnberg and even the fortress was sold in the 15th century to the community of Nürnberg. The former ruling house, called the Hohenzoller kept the title of dukes of Nürnberg until the year 1918. Due to the high quality of craftsmanship and the strategically position in the middle of Europe Nürnberg was very much liked by the rulers of the holy roman empire until the 30 years war during which the town was never taken over but due to a lot of damages and fights between the protestants and the catholics the area lost quite a lot of power and wealth. From there it became only a trading city in the middle of Europe. Only in the beginning of the 19th century Nürnberg became officially part of the Bavarian empire, after Napoleon restructured Europe and gave the are to the newly developed empire of Bavaria.
In the 19th.century the city of Nürnberg became the center of industrialization within the area of Bavaria. With the first operative railroad in Germany it strengthened again it’s importance. For the first ride, a British train driver on a British locomotive were used and due to the high risk of brain damage to the people of this high speed of 15mph no passengers were willing to join that ride but instead some beer barrels were used and after their arrival in the neighboring city of Fürth with a proofed taste of the beer the people agreed on building more railroad tracks in Germany. Nowadays Nürnberg is considered one of the biggest railroad centers in Germany for passengers and goods, including also one of the biggest repair center of the national railroad of Germany.
Especially in the second world war Nürnberg plaid a very important role for the Nazis. With the foundation of the zeppelin fields and the nazi party rally grounds the city plaid an important role in the propaganda of the nazi regime. The Nazis chose this area due to the strategically position in the middle go Europe and for the fact that is had the biggest train hub to bring as many people into the area of Nürnberg as possible. Nowadays it had one of the biggest and most important documentation center of Germany. Also the jewish question has been solved int he Nürnberg racial laws,established in the year 1935 in which the openings of new concentration camps and other killing methods were decided.
After the bombings in the second world war in which most of the surrounding area of Nürnberg was destroyed, also the Nazi war trials took place in the courtroom 600 in the court of Nürnberg. It was also the beginning of international war criminal trials and led to the foundation of the criminal trial in Den Haag in the Netherlands.
Nürnberg also took a major role in the German “Wirtschaftswunder” with companies like Siemens, Grundig, AEG, MAN, etc. still nowadays Nürnberg is one of the major industrial city in Bavaria.
Nürnberg is a fascinating city and also a very different one. One one hand you will see a city form the 16th century with huge city walls, old houses and new shops and then you can see the train museum in Nürnberg, as one of the most complex in Germany, can see the German National museum of Nürnberg where the most important artists, writers, etc will be shown and there is for sure to explore also the Toy museum in Nürnberg.
The toys used to play and still nowadays play an important role in Nürnberg since it has the biggest toy fair in Germany and is well known for all toy producers all around the world. Nürnberg’s highlight is definitely to see the toy museum and to explore historically and up to day toys.
Besides that you will see that the city of Nürnberg is at the official capital of ginger breads. Ginger bread can be found everywhere in the center and also most of the factories are around the city center of Nürnberg. The prices vary very much from hand-crafted ones to the very cheap industrial made ones. You will find the ginger bread in all different varieties, such as with sugar, with ginger or no, gluten-free, with different chocolates (dark, white, or milky one), in different forms and variations.
So you will see that there are many ways to explore the city of Nürnberg.
Nürnberg reflect the Bavarian culture very well and offers all of the typically things of Bavaria: From beer halls, to old buildings, to Sausage kitchens and the world famous christmas market, the so called “Christkindlesmarket”, one of the oldest and most traditionally christmas market in Europe. It has nowadays more than 200 different sales stands and is one of the biggest in Bavaria. Each year it attract millions of visitors when a blond angel opens the market and sends a peace message to the world for a quiet and nice christmas time and the time to wait for the arrival of Jesus christ.
In Nürnberg you will find also one of the oldest receipts of the sausages. They even had a legal fight with the town of Regensburg about who has the better and older sausage. The question was solved by the fact that Regensburg had the oldest sausage kitchen and Nürnberg the oldest receipt. But you will have to try bot, to know which ones you prefer. The recipe is form the 15th century and is still made in the same way including the precise length between 7-9cm and a thickness of 15mm and as ingredients only pork meat, salt, marjoram and some other herbs. It is even copywrited nowadays by the european union as a unique item for that region.
copyright Nuremberg Tourism
Nürnberg is nowadays dealing very well wit its heritage and its history. The buildings of the second world war are still there and can be visited at any time. At the Nazi party rally grounds are nowadays a documentation center to inform people about what happened, why and making people aware that history should not be repeated. The old town of Nürnberg is also newly renovated and keeps now more and more the old buildings and combine as a perfect match old and new architecture and businesses. But do not miss out to try one of the red beers and take the time to see also the surrounding city walls and the fortress of Nürnberg, where you can explore how well this city is set in it’s surrounding. Visit Nürnberg and learn a lot of this city – history and fascinating stories of medieval time, christmas and the second world war – Be Special Tours!
Nürnberg city tours and Nürnberg tour
If you want to enjoy some great time in Nürnberg, book a private tour to Nürnberg with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Munich, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the town of Nürnberg and continue a nice drive either through Germany, or Austria. So if you are planning to come to Nürnberg, or if you want to visit the city of Nürnberg and the romantic road coming from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes and of course a lot of Beer! Enjoy the fascinating city of Nürnberg – Nürnberg and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – Be Special Tours!
Dürnstein – the pearl of the Wachau Valley
Duernstein brings history alive. Some people say that this city shows a great story and shows the wealth of this region, like no other town. The Wachau valley is part of the UNESCO world heritage listed natural preserve in Europe. It is one of the oldest settlements in Austria, with a history of more than 30.000 years ago, when humans already seddled in this area. The Romans brought the wines to the region and since the end of the 1950ies the Wachau valley, is a protected wine region, with it’s own classifications for the wines. The wines are mostly white wines and are classified in 3 segments: The Steinfeder, Federspiel and the Smaragd (the most precious and most intense wine in this region). The Wachau Valley nowadays welcomes tourists form all over the world wit history, scenic valley and small villages with vineyards to welcome people from all over the world. One of the best ways to explore the valley is to take either one of the river cruises, or explore it in the most comfortable way, on one of our glass roofed vans, or the a bike ride through this valley and make occasionally stops in one of the nice villages. The Wachau valley starts with the beautiful town of Melk and it’s abbey, goes then by the town of Willendorf, where a 4 inch high figure from over 15.000 years ago has been found, to Spitz and to the pearl of the Wachau valley – Duernstein to the town of Krems. On the entry is one of the nicest abbeys – Melk and ends with an even more impressive abbey upon a hill – Göttweig.
In the center is located this highlight town of Dürnstein, with a ruin of a castle on the top of the village and a very impressive church in the center of the village: It is one of the few blue and white churches in Austria and the color comes from a Meissen porcelain color which the emperor wanted to copy.
This village is nowadays characterized by small and narrow streets, nice buildings and a very nice Danube promenade though the Danube curve and from where one of the nicest views of the Village of Dürnstein can be found. The original city wall and the medieval ruin of the castle make this village alive and shows how this village over the centuries developed. Nowadays in the village of Dürnstein some of the finest restaurants in Austria can be found. They make local cuisine and international cuisine into a harmony with the Wachau valley wines to a symphony. And Since the Danube has it’s own masterpiece of Music by Strauss (“on the blue Danube”), it shows how important this river was to the region. Unfortunately you will not find the Danube blue but you can follow Strausses’ footsteps by enjoying one or two bottles of excellent Wine from the Wachau valley and you will see the Danube blue as well.
So please enjoy the village of Dürnstein to the fullest and see how this village combines tradition of winemakers, good food, history and nature into one big symphony of joy and good times.
Above the city of Dürnstein you will find the ruins of the Dürnstein castle. Once upon a time a famous story has taken place there. Richard the Lionhearted traveled over land due to the fact that his ship was broke and he travelled also through the lands of the Habsburg’s dukes. Unfortunately he tried to pay in a pub with an english coin and his cover did not work any more. He and the duke of Austria were in a fight after Richard offended the Austrian Duke. Therefore he has been held in the castle of Dürnstein by the Habsburg duke of Leopold. He was the king of England and went in the 12century already for the third crusade. He was imprisoned nearby Vienna by Duke Leopold who accused him as being responsible of arranging the murder of his Cousin Conrad of Montferrat. Moreover Richard has personally offended Leopold by casting down his standard from the walls of Acre.
Richard the Lionheart’s helper and singer Blondel, as the legend tells us went through all the castles in the Habsburg’s empire and sang under all of them a song which only Richard the Lionhart and Blondel only knew and Richard the Lionhearted answered to the melody and the text. Due to this legend there is nowadays a hotel and restaurant Blondel in Dürnstein.
It is said that he tried to free his Emperor but only due to a payment of 23 tons of silver Richard the Lionhearted was really free and the money was used by the Duke of the holy roman empire.
It is said that the ransom was used to fortify the city of Vienna and reconstructing the city of Vienna, building the city of Friedberg, Hainburg and founded the mint of Vienna which is still in use, even if nowadays only at printing the Austrian euro coins and euro notes.
Besides those stories you can see this small village with less than 900 residents and the most important historical sights, like the court yard of the city hall. It shows an example of a mideval building, the Kremser gate one of the only existing city wall towers from the 15th century. In the west side you can visit some of the best examples of a medieval city houses and a church from the 13th century. the highlight of the visit will be a visit to the new castle/ palace. Built in the 17th century it is on the west side of the town, has two protective towers and with great windows over the Danube. In the 1960ies it was sold and transformed into a hotel which it is still nowadays with a great restaurant.
Another highlight is the abbey of the clariss, which was founded in the 13th century, until they died out in the 16th century. Nowadays it hosts the hotel Richard the Lionheart.
Duernstein is nowadays seen as the “pearl of the Wachau” due to the history and as being in the middle of the Wachau Valley as one of the finest wine regions in Austria. After the second World war, especially within the German speaking area the town of Dürnstein was used to make many so called “home movies”. They were characterized to see the nice vacation destination and praise the city of Dürnstein as an example of a “problem-free” vacation destination and with good wines, nice girls and nature the perfect relaxing point. This has not changed and is still one of the things that attract tourists from all over the world. The clean and preserved nature, combined with thousand years old vineyards will fascinate you as well and combined with history make this pearl even blessing and blooming and will bring you the Austrian culture of nature, history and wines closer and you will enjoy it to the fullest. Come and find out yourself and let the stress out of the Wachau valley and enjoy the nicest nature, combined with history and a very good glass of wine.
Dürnstein is nowadays not only the heritage of it’s own history but also part of the UNESCO world heritage listed Wachau valley. You will see also throughout the village lots of history where you will find the story of Richard the Lion’s heart still alive and see what this British influence brought to the town. See the architecture style and the vineyards surrounding this town to see how sometimes a prestigious pice can influence an architecture and being a symbol for the whole region, like this church, being a symbol of this region. Do not miss out to try one of the local vines and take the time to see also the ruins of the castle and the Wachau valley – history and fascinating stories of old times, history, nature and vines – b(e)specialtours!
Dürnstein city tours and Dürnstein tour
If you want to enjoy some great time in Dürnstein, book a private tour to Dünstein with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Vienna, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the Wachau valley and continue a nice drive either through the Wachau valley, or Austria and see other castles and monastaries. So if you are planning to come to Dürnstein, or if you want to Visit the city of Dürnstein and the romantic road coming from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes and of course a lot of Wine! Enjoy the fascinating city of Dürnstein – Dürnstein and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – Be Special Tours!