The Finstermünz Fortress, or Altfinstermünz, is located at the foot of the eponymous mountain pass in Nauders
The Altfinstermünz Fortress is located at the Via Claudia Augusta, in the Finstermünz Gorge at the foot of the 1,186 m high Finstermünz Pass. The fortress always had a strategic importance both as border and customs village, and as connection between the Inntal and the Val Venosta valleys and the Swiss Engadine. Already the Romans had built a wooden bridge at this place to cross the Inn river. Then in medieval times, the Finstermünz Fortress was built, first mentioned in 1263 as "Castrum Lvechin der Vinstminze". From 1300 AD, custom was collected here.
In 1472 Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, built the first fortifications. Until the 19th century, the entire movement of goods and people over the Resia Pass proceeded past there. When the new road over the mountain pass was built, the fortress finally lost its importance - Finstermünz became "Altfinstermünz" (Old Finstermünz). The path down to the fortress leads past a cave castle and through a gate tower. Until the mid of the 19th century, this tower housed the tavern "Zur goldenen Krone", where the waggoners could take a rest.
In 2002, the Altfinstermünz Association bought the fortress and made it accessible to the public as a "Historical World of Experience" featuring a new visitor centre made of steel and glass. Guided tours through the fortifications are offered in summer and winter, furthermore it is an inspiring location for a range of events such as the traditional fair and a Medieval festival.
The Altfinstermünz Fortress stays from May to October, season start 2024 in mid-May.
From the end of December to mid-April, guided weekly winter walks from Pfunds to Altfinstermünz with tea or mulled wine are offered - for further information please call +43 50 225300.