The fortress of Kufstein, "Festung Kufstein" in Austrian, one of the most important medieval buildings of Tyrol, is located on the hill overlooking the city of Kufstein, in Austria, a strategic point where the Inn valley shrinks which in ancient times allowed to control access to the Alps.
Over the centuries the fortress underwent numerous expansions and reconstructions, such as in the 17th century, when the outer walls were modernized.
Today the fortress is one of the most popular excursion destinations in the Alps and attracts tourists from all over the world thanks to its "Organo degli Eroi" (Heldenorgel), the largest open-air organ in the world. Inside it houses the city museum and outside, in a more recently built area, concerts and meetings are sometimes held.
Festung Kufstein History
The fortress was mentioned for the first time as a possession of the Duke of Bavaria and the bishop of Regensburg as early as 1205, although its oldest appearance in war dates back only to 1336, when it prevented the passage of Charles, Margrave of Morena, by doing so thus failing in its persecution of the Bavarians. Kufstein then joined the Tyrol in 1342, when the Tyrolean duchess Margaret "Maultasch" received the city as a gift from her husband Ludwig of Brandenburg on the occasion of their wedding. The Bavarians, however, asked for their return at the time they decided to cede the Tyrol to Duke Rudolf IV of Habsburg, and successfully breaking into the city, they took it over. In 1504, however, the fortress came into the possession of the House of Habsburg following the Landshut War of Succession by King Maximilian I, King of Tyrol. In 1703, after almost 200 years, Elector Prince Maximilian II of Bavaria advanced against Kufstein in the event of the Spanish succession war, besieging the city in vain until the following year, as Kufstein was returned to the Austrians. The Bavarian flag, however, returned to waving over the fortress in 1806, when Napoleon assigned the entire Tyrol to Bavaria with the Peace of Presburg, stipulated together with Francis Joseph I of Austria. In 1814, with the Congress of Vienna, the Tyrol returned to Austrian rule; after the First World War the Republic of Austria sold the castle to the city of Kufstein, which has owned it since 1924.
The Heldenorgel, literally "Organo degli Eroi", is the impressive organ with 4307 canes and 46 registers located within the fortress. Its main feature that makes it the flagship of Kufstein is the distance that amounts to more than 100 m between the keyboard, located at the foot of the castle, and the tip of the reeds. This last detail creates an obvious delay in issuing notes, which makes it extremely complicated for the organist to play this truly unique instrument. The concerts that are held every day at noon can be heard on the streets of the entire city of Kufstein.
At the fortress of Kufstein you can get married in a civil ceremony or in an open ceremony. The perfect place for a party in a historic setting is obviously present. The unique style and the highest quality cuisine make this special day an unforgettable celebration between family and friends.