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Devinsky Hrad (Danube)

The small tourist stop at the base of a steep hill atop which sits remains of a castle and its fortifications, Devinsky Hrad. At this point the Danube, which for some miles had marked the border between Austria and Slovakia, bends away to the left while the Slovakian border bends to the right. Now we were totally within Austria for the remainder of our day’s cruise to Vienna.

Wikipedia: “The site has been settled since the Neolithic Age and fortified since the Bronze and Iron Age and later by Celts and Romans.

”The cliff (elevation 212 meters) is an ideal place for a fort due to its position at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers. The fort watches over an important trade route along the Danube as well as one branch of the Amber Road.

“The castle stands just inside Slovak territory on the frontier between Slovakia and Austria. The border runs from west to east along the Morava River and subsequently the Danube. Prior to 1989, the Iron Curtain between the Eastern Bloc and the West ran just in front of the castle. Although the castle was open to the public, the area surrounding it constituted a restricted military zone, and was heavily fortified with watchtowers and barbed wire. After the Velvet Revolution the area was demilitarised.

“The most photographed part of the castle is the tiny watchtower, known as the Maiden Tower. Separated from the main castle, it balances perilously on a lone rock and has spawned countless legends concerning imprisoned lovelorn daughters leaping to their deaths.”