The former fortification dating from the 11th century towers high above the Salzach Valley. Hohenwerfen served Salzburg's rulers, the prince-archbishops, not only as a military base but also as a residential and hunting retreat. Alternatively, it was used as a state prison and therefore had a somewhat sinister reputation. Its prison walls have witnessed the tragic fate of many 'criminals' who spent their days there - maybe their last - under inhuman conditions, and, periodically, various highly ranked noblemen have also been imprisoned there including Rulers such as Archbishop Adalbert III (1198), Graf Albert von Friesach (1253), the Styrian governor Siegmund (1525) and Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau (1611).
“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”Harun Yahya
Nowadays this mighty bastion functions as an adventure castle for its visitors. Among the numerous attractions offered by this exciting fortress are guided tours through the fortress showing its extensive weapon collection, the historical Salzburg Falconry with the falconry museum as well as a stylish fortress tavern. The historic Falconry Center is a special attraction, offering daily flight demonstrations by various birds of prey.
The Austrian Mint in Vienna has released the fourth 500 schillings silver commemorative in its six-coin series, Castles of Austria. The new coin is dedicated to the impressive castle of Hohenwerfen in the province of Salzburg. The obverse, designed by the Chief Engraver of the Austrian Mint, Thomas Pesendorfer, shows a view of the castle perched dramatically on its mountainous height. The long, diagonal approach through several gates in the curtain walls can be clearly distinguished. This was an important feature of the castle's defenses. The reverse shows a scene from medieval falconry. The falconer in period costume with protective leather gloves swings a lure to entice the falcon back from its flight. Mint engraver, Herbert Waehner, has designed his subject to fit the round surface of the coin perfectly.