Sights in Werfen
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Billed as the world’s largest accessible ice caves, Eisriesenwelt is a glittering ice empire spanning 30,000 sq m and 42km of narrow passages burrowing deep into the heart of the mountains. Even if it’s hot outside, entering the caves in any season is like stepping into a deep freeze – bring warm clothing and sturdy footwear.
A tour through these Narnia-esque chambers of blue ice is a unique experience. As you climb up wooden steps and down pitch-black passages, with carbide lamps aglow, otherworldly ice sculptures shaped like polar bears and elephants, frozen columns and lakes emerge from the shadows. A highlight is the cavernous Eispalast (ice palace), where the…
Slung high on a wooded clifftop and cowering beneath the majestic peaks of the Tennengebirge range, Burg Hohenwerfen is visible from afar. For 900 years this fortress has kept watch over the Salzach Valley, its current appearance dating to 1570. The big draw is the far-reaching view over Werfen from the 16th-century belfry, though the dungeons (displaying the usual nasties such as the iron maiden and thumb screw) are also worth a look. The entry fee also covers a falconry show in the grounds (11.15am and 2.15pm or 3.15pm), where falconers in medieval costume release eagles, owls, falcons and vultures to wheel in front of the ramparts. There is commentary in English and…