The history of Kufstein fortress
The fortress is first mentioned in a document from 1205 as being in the property of Bavarian Duke Ludwig and the Bishop of Regensburg. As the arena of many battles, Kufstein Fortress often witnessed history in the making, especially as a fiercely fought-over object between Bavaria and the Tyrol. It first had a pivotal role in an armed conflict in 1336, when Margrave Charles of Moravia had to abandon his pursuit of the Bavarians when the fortress blocked his route.
Kufstein becomes part of the Tyrol
In 1342, Margarete “Maultasch”, Duchess of the Tyrol, received Kufstein as a wedding present from her husband Ludwig of Brandenburg, son of Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian. This was the first time that Kufstein became part of the Tyrol. When Margarete handed all of the Tyrol to Habsburg duke Rudolph IV in 1363, the Bavarians demanded she return her original wedding gift and successfully invaded Kufstein. After the death of Duke George the Rich of Landshut in 1503, a war of succession broke out between the Upper-Bavarian and the Palatian line of the Wittelsbachers.
Emperor Maximilian and Kufstein Fortress
Habsburg king Maximilian I was on the side of the Upper-Bavarians. As the ruler of the Tyrol, the reclamation of the lower Inn valley was of great interest to him, given the enormous strategic importance of Kufstein Fortress. By taking Kufstein, Maximilian reached his goal: in 1504, Kufstein became Habsburg property.
After almost 200 years, Kufstein was once again taken by the Bavarians as part of the Spanish war of succession in 1703: on his way to Italy, electoral prince Max Emanuel advanced towards Kufstein. Only towards the end of 1704 were Kufstein and its fortress returned to Austria. History had one more Bavarian occupation in store for Kufstein just 100 years later, when Napoleon I threw Europe into turmoil and granted the Tyrol to the Bavarians.
Under the Austrian flag
It was 1814 by the time the Tyrol was returned to Austrian rule. After World War I, the Republic of Austria sold the fortress to the city of Kufstein, which has owned it since 1924.