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 Photo: Wachau valley
( Image gallery: Duernstein, Austria)


Wachau valley
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Austria (Lower Austuria)
Author: Setenay Suzewr
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Comments: 2


maria   27.01.2010
wow...these ruins look so impressive...

Setenay Szer   26.01.2010
Ruins of Drnstein castle

The fortress that sits 520 ft (159 m) above the town is linked to the turbulent history of the Crusades. Within the towering stone walls, Leopold V, the Babenberg duke ruling Drnstein, held the English king Richard the Lion-Hearted of England prisoner in 1193. According to legend, when Richard tried to travel through Austria incognito, Leopold captured and imprisoned the English monarch in retaliation for the insults Richard had spat at the powerful Austrian when they both fought in Palestine for the Holy Land.

For many years, nobody knew exactly where in Austria the English king was incarcerated. However, Richard`s minstrel, Blondel, went from castle to castle, playing his lute and singing the king`s favorite tunes. While at the castle of Drnstein, Blondel played and Richard sang the lyrics in reply. The revelation compelled the duke to move his prisoner to a fortress in the Rhineland Palatinate, and demand a high ransom for Richard`s release. After the sum had been met, the Lion-Hearted king was free to return to England.


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