Who has watched the 1968 World War II film Where Eagles Dare, and wondered where that incredible alpine castle is? The good news is that it wasn't a stage set, instead, the real-life location is the Hohenwefen Castle (in the movie as the fictional Schloß Adler).

While in the area, see the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany which has been the inspiration for Walt Disney's castles. The European Alps is truly a stunning region of Europe and one that visitors are well rewarded for exploring. There are many castles and other attractions to be found around here.

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Setting and History Of Hoenwerfen Castle

The Hoenwerfen Castle is a dramatic medieval rock castle perched on a 623-meter (2,044 foot) precipice overlooking the Austrian market town of Werfen. It is located around 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the stunning city of Salzburg (Salzburg is where the 1965 film The Sound of Music was shot and set).

  • Location: On A Precipice Close To The Austrian City of Salzburg

The imposing castle is surrounded by the dramatic Berchtesgaden Alps and Tennen Mountains. It was built between 1075 and 1078 and was built in the context of Imperial Investiture Controversy.

  • Built: Between 1075 and 1078

It was later extended in the 12th century and a bit more in the 16th century (during the German Peasant's War).

It was used as a state prison and had a rather sinister reputation (another good choice for location then for Where Eagle's Dare - as in the movie, an American "General" there was imprisoned there.

It was infamous for the tragic fate of many of its inmates who suffered inhumane conditions in the castle. Walking through its cells and fortifications, one can almost feel the chills go down their spine as one thinks about the cruelties that must haunt the castle's past.

In WW2 it did see use as a Gauführerschule or Nazi education camp. At the war, it was used as a training camp by the Austrian rural police (called Gendarmerie) until 1987. Today, it is a museum and is famous for its falconry.

Related: See History Come to Life At England's Medieval Festival In Sussex

Getting To The Fortress And Opening Hours

The 900-year-old Hohenwerfen Castle's setting couldn't be more dramatic and awe-inspiring. It is one of the main highlights that anyone will take back with them from Austria. Bedazzled by this mighty former defensive bastion enthroned high above the Salzach River Valley in the Austrian Alps.

To get to the castle, one can either make one's way up to the castle on foot or follow the beautiful path that leads around the rock formations through the shady forest up to the castle. Alternatively, visitors can take the elevator (an option on the ticket price).

  • Temporarily Closed: As At The Time of Writing They Are Scheduled To Reopen on April 1, 2022

There are numerous attractions offered here with guided tours. These include showing its extensive weapons collections, the falconry museum, the Salzburg Falconry, and even the fortress tavern. Tours of the fortress are subject to availability and start from the fortress courtyard at a special price of €2 with a fixed-period ticket.

Opening Hours:

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  • April: Tue - Sun, 9.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m (Closed Mondays)
  • May – 10 July: daily, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
  • 11 July – 13 August: daily, 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
  • 14 August – September: daily, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
  • October – 6 November: Tue - Sun, 9.30 am – 4.00 pm (Closed Mondays)

Prices for entry are low with adult admission prices ranging from 10.30 Euros ($12) to 16.60 Euros ($18) depending on the package selected.

Before one books tickets, check out their calendar to see what events may be on for the month.

  • Pets: Dogs Are Permitted On A Leash

Tours and Attractions at Hohenwerfen Castle

If visiting the castle, it is recommended to take a guided castle tour. Guided tours are the best ways to really immerse oneself in the history and grandeur of the castle.

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Castle tours:

  • April, October & November: 10.00 am – 04.00 pm
  • May - September: 10.00 am – 05.00 pm
  • 11 July - 13 August: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm

They offer a range of special programs - including fairy-tale hikes, theatrical productions, folklore afternoons as well as medieval events, special falconry shows, and "Mystical Nights" according to Salzburg.info.

Attractions:

  • Ancient Weapons Exhibit
  • A Stylish Castle Tavern
  • The Knights' Store
  • The Historic State Falconer's

Related: Your Guide To Stunning English Castles That You Can Really Visit

Hohenwerfen Castle's Falconry Shows And Attractions

The castle has a famous falconry show with their iconic birds of prey (only fitting for a having hosted a movie entitled "Where Eagles Dare.")

Its Falconry Centre is regarded as a special attraction and offers daily flight demonstrations. The birds of prey include falcons (duh), hawks, vultures, and eagles. It is the first Austrian Museum of Falconry and includes a bird-of-prey theme path, which is also located up at the castle.

Falconry Show Times:

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  • April to 10 July: 11.15 am and 3.15 pm
  • 11 July to 13 August: 11.15 am, 2.15 and 4.30 pm
  • 14 August to 6 November: 11.15 am and 3.15 pm

 Next: Warwick Castle: What To Expect From The Living Castle Built By William The Conqueror