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Burg Hochosterwitz/Austria

Introducing Burg Hochosterwitz

This fairytale fortress (it claims to be the inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty) drapes itself around the slopes of a hill, with 14 gate towers on the path up to the final bastion. These were built between 1570 and 1586 by its former owner, Georg Khevenhüller, to ward off invading Turks. A Burgführer (castle guide; information booklet (in English; €4) outlines the different challenges presented to attackers by each gate – some have spikes embedded in them, which could be dropped straight through unwary invaders passing underneath. The castle has a museum featuring the suit of armour of one Burghauptmann Schenk, who measured 225cm at the tender age of 16.

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