On the hill above Dürnstein are the ruins of Kuenringer Castle, the fortress where
Richard the Lionheart, King of England, was held captive after being
captured and held for ransom by Duke Leopold V (a Babenberg). King
Richard was returning from the Crusades in the Holy Lands when his ship
foundered. The sinking of his vessel left King Richard with limited funds and
he decided to return to
England by the least expensive means, an overland route. Traveling in disguise and
accompanied only by a small band of guards, he was captured by the Duke who
knew that holding Richard could return a substantial ransom.
It was rumored that part of the King Richard's substantial ransom
was used to rebuild Vienna and some say a portion of the ransom was spent on
construction of the
Stephansdom, the cathedral of Vienna. A
side-effect of the capture of the English king, was that Duke Leopold was
excommunicated by the Pope, as he was judged to have wronged a Crusader working to
support the goals of the church.
For more information about Dürnstein (sometimes spelled
Duernstein) see the town's
website (in German).
Only a short distance from Dürnstein, you will find the
fabulous Benedictine Abbey hovering above both the Danube River and the town of Melk.
Click here for our detailed guide to the
Benedictine Abbey at Melk
Or return to the daytrips
homepage on the Wachau and Krems.
Next - explore our menu on the right hand edge of this page to find other
types of sightseeing in Vienna
Alternatively, if you want to find out about a specific attraction and know
its name, look
for it in our
index to the best places to visit in
If you need information about another travel destination, try
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.