Approaching the impressive fortress, first mentioned in 860 AD, is an experience in itself. “Cars and buses can drive more than halfway up the hill before arriving at our convenient parking area,”says Andrea Mandl of the castle’s management. Having been in the possession of the Khevenhüller family for 473 years, the Hochosterwitz castle is world famous for its characteristic ramparts.“These include 14 gigantic gates, which are connected by five drawbridges,” explains Mandl. “Each of the gates are utterly unique.” Furthermore, the detached castle rock provides a breath-taking view over the landscape of the Carinthia region.