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Finstermünz Fortress

The Finstermünz Fortress, or Altfinstermünz, is located at the foot of the eponymous mountain pass in the municipality of Nauders.

The Finstermünz Fortress is located at the Via Claudia Augusta road, more precisely in the Finstermünz Gorge at the foot of the eponymous mountain 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 Engadine (CH). Already the Romans have 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, namely the bridge tower and Siegmundsegg Castle. Until the 19th century the entire movement of goods and people over the Passo Resia mountain pass proceeded past there.

When the new road over the Passo Resia mountain pass was built, the fortress finally lost its importance. The path down to the Finstermünz 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. Also the Chapel of the Assumption of Mary, built in 1605, belongs to the Finstermünz Fortress. The mentioned bridge tower - the border to Switzerland - is publicly accessible again since 1999.

The association Altfinstermünz which bought the fortress in 2002 has set itself the goal of restoring the fortress and opening a “Historical World of Experience” (Historische Erlebniswelt Altfinstermünz) for the public. Planned are an inclined lift, a children’s playground with fairy beings, a multi-vision room in the natural cave and a museum. The new visitor centre, a steel and glass structure, however, opened to public a few years ago. Some guided tours through the fortifications are offered, furthermore it is an inspiring location for a range of events such as the traditional Kirchtag and a Medieval festival.

Where: in the Finstermünz Gorge, municipality of Nauders
Characteristics: important border fortification at the foot of the Finstermünz mountain pass
Further information: phone: +43 5474 20042 / 664 3959471, verein.altfinstermuenz@aon.at

Winter opening hours: from January 15 to April 15, 2020
winter hike from Nauders to the Finstermünz Fortress
every Wednesday (reservation needed)

Summer opening hours:
from the end of May to the end of September 2020

Ticket (adults):
10.00 Euros (mulled wine or tea included)

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