Heinfels Castle (Burg Heinfels)

Heinfels Castle (Burg Heinfels)

Heinfels Castle is a medieval stronghold that stands on a strategic hill over Heinfels in Tyrol region. It gets its name from a local legend about Huns that is said to found first fort here.


Location: Heinfels, Tyrol

Constructed: 13th century

History of Heinfels Castle

Local legends claim that first military fortifications on this hill date back to early medieval period or the Dark Ages. A barbarian tribe of Huns found first citadel on this place around 500 AD. Original fortress consisted of a simple wooden pallisade with several watch towers to keep an eye on the surrounding lands and a strategic entrance to the Villgraten Valley. Heinfels is thus translated Huns' Rock in German. Current historians believe that first stronghold here was found by the Slavs and Avars. However current Heinfels Castle was constructed in the 13th century. It was first mentioned in 1243.


Heinfels Castle was badly damaged in an earthquake of 1714. Damage to the defensive structures proved too costly to fix, so the castle was abandoned by the military. Austrian Emperor Joseph II thus transferred the citadel to a nunnery in 1783. It was briefly retaken by the Tyrolean Imperial Infantry in 1880 and used as a barracks. However after especially snowy winter of 1917 the roof in the living quarters collapsed and Heinfels Castle was finally abandoned.