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Notes on the Geography of Austria : Kufstein

The main river of the Tyrol is the Inn, which flows east then north into Germany and the Danube.  It's been a highway since at least Roman times, and traffic between Germany and Italy still comes up the river before heading south at Innsbruck and climbing the Brenner Pass.  Kufstein, hardly a competitor for the tourist meccas like nearby Kitzbuhel, fronts the Inn just before the river enters Germany.  In short, it was an obvious site for a fortress controlling a strategic route, especially because there's a hill ready-made for fortification.

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Austria : Kufstein picture 1

We're atop that hill now and looking south, or upstream. Since the 13th century this hill has been occupied by the very substantial Geroldseck Fortress.  There were soldiers here until 1872.

Austria : Kufstein picture 2

There's a cog railway to the top, but this is better: the path up to the 16th century Kaiserturm.

Austria : Kufstein picture 3

Up top, there's a lot of room, not only for buildings but for extensive tunnels and parade grounds.

Austria : Kufstein picture 4

The gentler way up: behind the cog railway is the Burgerturm.

Austria : Kufstein picture 5

Secure enough? Looking down to the Inn.

Austria : Kufstein picture 6

Slightly downstream: the Unterer Stadtplatz.

Austria : Kufstein picture 7

The central business district: Kufstein today has about 15,000 people.  By autobahn it's less than an hour from Munich.

Austria : Kufstein picture 8

Down on the bottom: the lower city square.

Austria : Kufstein picture 9

Medieval styles echo in the much more recent downtown.


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