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Francis Castle, Austria

Visited  August 2016

Location Salzburg, Austria
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby Salzburg Central
Parking No
Facilities Restaurant



Known locally as Franziski Schlössl (Little Francis Castle) this is a small but perfectly formed defensive castle, positioned high up in the Kapunzinerberg, one of the hills which surrounds Salzburg. Now a restaurant, the walk up to the castle is pleasant, if not a little challenging at times. However we saw families pushing prams up to the top of the hill as there is a decent path. C4K being C4K we missed the good path and took the more difficult route through the woods (not through choice but because we got lost!) but we survived to tell the tale.






The castle was built in 1629 as part of the then Archbishop Paris Londron's programme of beefing up the cities defences during the 30-Years-War. The castle was paid for by an increase in taxes, which was unpopular with the local population. However, the increased defences paid off and the city was not attacked during the war. In more peaceful times the castle became a hunting lodge, and finally was sold off to become a restaurant, a function it has been fulfilling since 1849.


There is a pleasant garden at the back of the castle with fantastic mountain views, or inside seating if you prefer. The restaurant serves light refreshments or entire meals, and after the climb up the hill is a sight for sore eyes. There are toilets there too which are free for customers, if you are not buying anything at the restaurant you can still use the toilets but they then ask for a donation, which seems an entirely fair request.





The route up to the castle takes you up some steep steps, there are two different routes to get to the summit, both involve steps at some point. We took the route from the Linzergasse, this actually has a pavement as well as steps, so is better if you have buggies/prams. This leads past the Capuchin Monastery, which is where the name of the hill comes from. There are statues all along the pavement leading up to the monastery, it is steep but worth the effort. Once past the monastery the pavement becomes more of a path, if you take the sign posted path it is a decent surface all the way up, if like us you take the alternative route through the woods then it is more of a woodland path. Both routes have viewing points along the way, which offer the opportunity of some amazing views for photos. 





We took about two hours to do the round trip to the castle and back, including refreshments once we got there. You could spend much longer there, depending on how much walking around the hill you wanted to do and how much time you want to spend at the restaurant. The trip back down was a lot easier on the knees though!! All in all an enjoyable and worthwhile trip.





More info:  Francis Castle

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