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11 years ago1 views

This video clip was taken on August 5, 2007 during a country excursion from my Austrian home town of Weiz. My brother and sister-in-law took me to one of the major sights in the area: the Riegersburg, a medieval fortress built originally in the 11th century on the basaltic rock of a former volcano. 11 bastions, 6 gates and 2 moats protect this fortress which was built in the border area of the Austrian empire to protect against invaders from the east which included Magyars and Turks.

During the 17th century the castle' history was enriched by two legendary female protagonists: the artistocratic Freifrau Katharina Elisabeth von Galler who expanded the castle, and her servant, the "flower witch" (Blumenhexe) Katharina Paldauf who was accused of being a witch for her ability to grow roses in winter and burned on the stake. After a brief stroll through the town of Riegersburg we drove the Castle of Kapfenstein, also located on a former volcano, where we had a delicious lunch in the castle outdoor patio which provided a magnificent view of the surround Styrian and Slovenian mountains and hills. Then I had a brief adventure on a motor scooter and got ready for my last evening in Austria, ready to say goodbye to my home town and the province of Styria -- the Green Heart of Austria.

Also, my FREE travel ebooks containing stories from my trips to destinations such as Sicily, Havana, Mexico City, New York City, Chicago, Florida, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Halifax and many others are available right now at

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