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Fortress

Leonburg

Fortress · Meraner Land · 561 m ·
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  • The Leonburg in a strategic position on the Adige Valley.
    / The Leonburg in a strategic position on the Adige Valley.
    Photo: First Avenue
Ever since it was built, Leonburg castle has been owned by the Brandis family, a rare and fortunate circumstance in a region with such turbulent history.
Leonburg was probably built around 1200 by an ancestor of the Brandis counts. It is visible from afar, sitting on an exposed porphyry hill high above the Etsch valley by the road to Gampenpass. Its most prominent feature are the two mighty three-storey rectangular towers.

The name "Leon" (=lion) appears to indicate that this is a very powerful and important fortress. The castle's strategic position is obvious, and was a good enough reason for count Meinhard II of Tyrol to disarm the Brandis family who were known to be hostile to him. Following the defeat of the Brandis dynasty, they were nonetheless allowed to keep the castle as a fief. Following extensive fire damage, Leonburg was rebuilt in the 15th century with an enlarged great hall.

The castle has maintained its medieval structure to the present day, and is an excellent illustration of the defensive capabilities at the time. Leonburg is not open to visitors, but the excellent view of the castle from the Gampenstrasse offers some compensation.

Coordinates

DD
46.586533, 11.161423
DMS
46°35'11.5"N 11°09'41.1"E
UTM
32T 665584 5161488
w3w 
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Leonburg

Andreas Hofer Str. 9/1
39011 Lana
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