To start off the history of Ehrenberg with Napoleon's popular words „Millennia are looking down upon you...“ is surely not any more an act of overconfidence than it would be to use these words for the castle ensemble.
Let's have a look at the time 15 before Christ, when Drusus crossed the Alps with his legions, and after that, the construction of the Via Claudia Augusta, and the Ehrenberg defile and castle which initiated a 700 year long expansion of fortress design. The Ehrenberg castle together with the border fortress complex, the defile and the surrounding castles and defense structures belongs to the oldest and most important historical bulwarks in the northern Tyrolean alpine upland.
The defile Emperors and kings took the way through the defile. To campaigns in Northern Italy, to the crusades in the Holy Land and to coronations in Rome, to name just a few. Emperor Lothar's III journey through life came to an end not far from the defile in Breitenwang. Armies conquered the fortresses and would also at times pull out again without having achieved anything. Thousands of soldiers bled there for wars about succession, religion and the hunger of european potentates for power.
The Romans' campaigns of conquest against the Likatier, Appenzeller battles, Schmalkalden battles, or the killing and burning of the swedish Soldadeska, wars about succession and the fight for freedom of the Tyroleans against their oppressor. The fortress walls could tell you a thing or two about that – A sad thing or two, however!
Merchants brought horse-drawn wagons heavily laden with groceries and wares from the Mediterranean north, through the defile's customs station. The austrian salt trade flourished and the heavy carriages distributed the white gold throughout the lands from Ehrenberg. Even the Tsarevich, the Tsar's son, hid here from his father's spies. These stories could go on forever, seeing as all these historical details are so rich that they suffice for their own historical event.
Townspeople of Reutte and Außerfern create a cultural and historical top class event on history-laden soil. These days, the once seperated fortresses shall unite and convey the mutual european idea to the rest of the world.
The recent past and the future It is thanks to men with vision and honorary commitment that the Ehrenberg castle ensemble, ravaged by time, could be maintained, restored and opened to the public. Since 2004, the documentary drama „Ehrenberg Historical“ about the defile's history is shown in the rooms of the fortress. This entertaining and exciting documentary shows the history of Ehrenberg from the Romans until the empress Maria Theresia. From there, it wasn't out of anyone's way to create a big historical event that has no equal in Europe: „Ehrenberg – Die Zeitreise“ was born. A historical reference didn't have to be sought after, designed or constructed, it virtually imposed itself on you. The various topics provide historical festival material for years to come. On a huge festival area, larger than a kilometer, the visitor gets to know the history and development of the defile, spanning 1700 years in total. The battles of the Romans and the Celts, gladiator's games, legionary camps, the migration period, knights' tourneys and battles, fireworks, landsknecht camps, multi vision shows, and the historical vivid market life with crafts and trades will amaze you just as much as the battle of Ehrenberg.
In the recent past, there were many improvements for the complex, and there will be even more in the future. The knights' playground for little knights and princesses, and the baroque construction site in the Schlosskopf fortress are especially popular. In June 2006 we opened the castle museum „Dem Ritter auf der Spur“. More theme areas will help the Burgenwelt Ehrenberg grow into a historical center of experience with a european dimension within the next few years.