Meinhard II and his brother Albert I had divided the heritage of their father in 1271. The border between the Duchy of Tyrol and the Duchy of Görz, which included the valley of Pustertal, had then run at the narrow part of the valley forming the western entrance to Pustertal. At this strategically important place, Meinhard II, who expanded the Duchy of Tyrol and who is meant to be the founder of Tyrol, built a wall barring the access as well as two towers. This fortress was a toll station and secured the border.
The new fortress
Between Mühlbach and Vintl, about 600 m east of the old border post Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, built new fortress in the 15th century – from the valley bottom to the hillside. Mühlbach fortress was a defensive barrage and toll station. The walls are formed almost seamlessly by ashlars with many loopholes.
In former times, the road bordered by walks lead through the gate and divided the complex into two halves. The squared gate tower “Vintler Torturm” has 15.50 m thick walls. Those of “Mühlbacher Torturm” are not that thick, as the attacks mostly came from the other direction. Of both towers, only one is left today.
In the southern part of the fortress there are remains off several buildings: The chapel was consecrated in 1472, her former portal is today part of the parish church in Mühlbach. The Kaiser tower was a defensive and inhabited tower and there was another building with the toll station, armouries and pantries.
The fortress in Mühlbach can be visited each Thursday from June to September, in July and August also on Saturday mornings. Visitors are offered guided tours and knights games for kids in summer. Moreover, Mühlbach fortress is a wonderful location for different events.
Mühlbach fortress association
Tel.: +39 0472 849 482