Reutte Tyrol: Ehrenberg Castle, Fort Claudia and Schlosskopf

Ehrenberg Castle seen from Schlosskopf

Reutte Tyrol (Austria) is an insider tip. You won’t find anything similar anywhere else! There’s the ruined castle Ehrenberg (1), then there are the ruined fortifications Fort Claudia (2) and Schlosskopf (3). Where else can you find three ruined castles right next to each other?
But then there’s also the rope bridge Highline 179 connecting two opposing sides of a valley (4) at the breathtaking Tyrolean alps (5).

Here are 17 pictures and a little bit of the area’s turbulent history. Enjoy!

Ehrenberg Castle

Castle Ehrenberg is the oldest of the three fortresses. Construction was started around 1290 by Count Meinhard II. of Tyrol. Ehrenberg was attacked and rebuilt various times until the 18th century, which led to the construction of the other two fortifications.

Ehrenberg Castle seen from Fort Claudia
Ehrenberg Castle Panorama

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Main Gate of Ehrenberg Castle
Inside walls of Ehrenberg Castle.

Fort Claudia

In 1546, the catholic Tyrolean lost Ehrenberg to the protestant Schmalkalden (Germans). To conquer Ehrenberg back, the Tyrolean opened fire from the opposite side of the valley. The attack was successful and the Tyrolean conquered their castle back. To prevent attackers from using the same tactics, Fort Claudia was built around 1639. Well, that was at least the idea… However,
In 1703, during the Spanish war of succession, Ehrenberg was shot at from Fort Claudia. First by the Bavarian and shortly afterwards by the Tyrolean peasant soldiers. Both war parties found the fortification unmanned.

Main entrance to Fort Claudia
Corner at Fort Claudia
Inside Fort Claudia
Fort Claudia seen from Schlosskopf

Schlosskopf Fortification

And so the Tyrolean lost Ehrenberg a second time in 1703. This time against the Bavarian. To conquer it back, they moved four canons to the top of mount Hornberg. Located 150 meters above Castle Ehrenberg, they started to open fire. Being attacked from above, the Bavarian abandoned Ehrenberg immediately. And the Tyrolean built Schlosskopf, the third fortification just a few hundred meters away from Ehrenberg Castle and Fort Claudia.

Panorama at Schlosskopf
Stone-House at Schlosskopf
Old entrance to Schlosskopf Fortification.

Highline 179

The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge: 406 meters long and 115 meters above ground. It spans over the valley between Ehrenberg Castle and Fort Claudia.

If you’re afraid of heights, try not to look down while passing. Below is a picture of what you’ll see should you dare taking a look. The bridge also provides a nice perspective of Ehrenberg Castle.

Highline 179: The world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge.
Looking down from Highline 179
Ehrenberg Castle seen from Highline 179

Tips for visitors

Mind the spelling

Be sure to spell Reutte right otherwise you could end up at the wrong place! There’s Reutte in Tyrol (Austria), then there’s Reuthe in Vorarlberg (also Austria) and finally there’s Reute in Baden-Württemberg (Germany).

Careful if you arrive from the direction of Innsbruck (Austria):
The road to Reutte, called the “Fernpass-Bundesstrasse”, is one of Austria’s most dreaded traffic jam hotspots. However, it is also an alpine mountain pass route with a spectacular view, and taking a little longer might not be bad after all.

A “secret” tip: 20 km to the north of Reutte lays the German town Schwangau. That’s where you’ll find two of the most magnificent castles ever built: Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. Have a look at the link for details. It’s well worth it!

Keep of Ehrenberg Castle

A note about the environment:

Ruins at Schlosskopf

Castle Ehrenberg, Fort Claudia and Highline 179 are close to each other and easily accessible even with children. You’ll need about three, maybe four hours to visit those three locations.

Schlosskopf however, is an additional 45 minutes to one hour walk in each direction (up and back down). There are two trails going up: A short but steep one and a longer alternative that’s easier to walk. If you plan to hike in a circle, i.e. one way up and the other way down, start by going the steep short route upwards and take the longer route downwards. This way it’s much more gentle on your joints. Common knowledge among rambler and mountaineers, but not so much among tourists.

For additional information, be sure to visit Burgenwelt Ehrenberg’s official website.