In the footsteps of the dynasty of the same name

The house of Starkenberg

The Starkenberger

As the name suggests, the noble house of Starkenberger plays an important role. The path connects the castles and palaces of the once powerful and proud aristocratic family, which played a dominant role in Tyrol for more than 400 years. In the 12th century the Starkenberger built their ancestral castle at Tarrenz. Thus, the area between Ehrenberg / Fernpass and Kronburg was the core of the stronghold power and a dynasty, which went out with the death of William of Starkenberg in 1452.


Once a proud fortified castle of the Lords of Starken- berg, which in the 13th and 14th centuries became one of the most powerful dynasties in Tyrol. Destroyed and left to decay in the wake of the Starkenberger feud of 1422.
The ruins are located in a forest 20 minutes northwest of Tarrenz on a rocky spur, the direction Salvesenbach protrudes above the orographic left bank of the Salvesenschlucht.
The path to the ruin is not signposted. From the former hilltop castle only a few masonry remains are preserved. The castle square, which is about 45 m long, slopes down 100 m vertically on the southern narrow side. The access from the north was protected by a 13 m built ditch.

The castle Alt-Starkenberg is first mentioned in 1217 as the ancestral stronghold of Starkenberger in connection with Georg von Starkenberg. Its construction is expected to fall in the second half of the 12th century. The castle appears in 1284 and 1290 as an exhibition venue of documents on. From 1328 comes the news that Georg von Starkenberg takes over the guardianship for his brothers sons and gets the castle alone for ten years. A letter of indulgence from 1341 refers to the castle chapel of Alt-Starkenberg dedicated to Saint George and Leonhard. In the course of the Starkenberger feud of 1422 with Duke Friedrich IV, the castle was conquered, destroyed and no longer built.

Only the castle chapel is said to have survived the siege. Their rich relic treasure, donated around 1341, was only transferred to the parish church of Tarrenz in 1447. At this the iron-studded sacristy door is also said to have been recovered from the rubble of Alt-Starkenberg. Also a bell with Gothic minuscule inscription in the St. Vitus Church of the cemetery and particles of the Holy Cross, which were incorporated into a 1772 donated monstrance in the cross chapel of the parish church, come from Alt-Starkenberg. These should have been brought by a Starkenberger (possibly 1215 Gebhard von Starkenberg) from a crusade to Jerusalem. This is also supported by the indulgence for the day of the discovery of the cross at the castle chapel.

The castle ruin Gebradstein was not an independent castle, but a castle belonging to Starkenberg weir (Höhenburg). It is located about 2.5 km northwest of the community Tarrenz. The name of the plant is derived from the baptismal name Gebhard, which the older Starkenberger wore.

According to the archaeological findings, the walls of Gebradstein date back to the 13th century. But only in 1521 is Gebhardstein first mentioned explicitly. In addition to the function as a retreat and as a failure base, should be threatened Starkenberg, this weir has also monitored the mule track that led along the Salvesenbaches over the Hahntennjoch and Pfafflar in the Lech Valley. It is believed that this castle was confiscated in 1422 after the defeat of Starkenberger by Duke Frederick IV and then left to decay.

Experience a special natural habitat

Flora and fauna

Rare scorpions and special ecology


Surrounded by the Lechtal Alps, the Mieminger Kette mountain range and the Tschirgant massif, this valley is unique in many respects. The Gurgltal is one of the most ecologically diverse and valuable cultural landscapes in the inner Alpine valley. To date, the original small-scale structuring has been preserved, especially in the eastern valley. Hundreds of barns are evidence of traditional meadow management and characteristic of this valley landscape. Unique is the highly valuable combination of wet and dry habitats in a confined space.

The rare animals that have found habitat here include the birch moth, the nails patch (Aglia tau), the swallowtail (Papilio machaon), the aurora (Anthocharis cardamines) and many species of dragonfly. Common frog (Rana temporaria), common toad (Bufo bufo) and mountain newt (Triturus alpestris), alpine salamander (Salamandra atra) and yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata) are common and widespread. Reptiles: grass snake (Natrix natrix), slow-worm (Anguis fragilis) and sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) are common, the forest lizard (Lacerta vivipara) in two localities as well as the snake (Coronella austriaca) and the viper (Vipera berus).

More than 200 species of birds have so far been detected in Gurgltal and its valley slopes, of which at least 100 species are temporary breeding birds. Also, the abundance of butterflies was remarkable until about 20 years ago with about 730 species, but since then dramatically decreases due to changes in land use.


The area of ​​about 40 hectares has been protected since 1971 and includes a 200 m wide area strip on the southern slope of the Antelberg, directly next to the road through the Gurgltal. A little committed climb begins opposite the inn Dollinger.

The south-exposed, partly trickled by Kleingeröll steep slope is passed by a light red pine forest. The forest shows a species-rich, herb-dominated undergrowth with dry lovers such as: Blood Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum), White Swallowwort (Cynanchum vincetoxicum), Feather Grass (Stipa pennata), Colorful Crownwort (Coronilla varia) and in the shrub layer: Woolly Snowball, Barberry and Privet ,

The reason for the defensive position of this area is an occurrence of alpine scorpion (also German scorpion, Euscorpius germanus) on the sunny, south-exposed steep slope of the Antelsberg between Tarrenz and Nassereith. The isolated Scorpionsvorkommen on Antelsberg is considered a "relic of a postglacial (post-glacial) warm period", as it came to the immigration of southern species on the Reschen or Brenner Pass. In later cold periods, the contiguous areas of distribution (areas) were separated again. To date, these warmth-loving communities have been preserved in very warm locations. In addition to Alpenskorpion also include southern representatives of the spiders, tiny pseudoscorpions and weavers. There were alone122 spider species detected on Antelsberg, some of them are unique to Austria! Even the only Central European species of bird spider, the paper spider, lives on Antelsberg.


The bogs of Sinnesbrunn are considered a particularly valuable area and testimony of the ice age due to their remarkable diversity of moor development stages and associated plant communities.

At that time the glacier ice reached an upper limit of approx. 2 200 m above sea level until just below the Tschirgant summit. Starting at 1 500 m, this still results in an ice thickness of 700 m for the Sinnesbrunn terrace. The resulting print run can be calculated at approx. 700 tonnes per m2. The glacier ice, which flows under this enormous pressure, does not yet provide any appreciable erosion performance. Rather, the rock material dragged along the sole as "ground moraine" has an eroding effect. The water-retaining properties of this Grundmoräne we owe the numerous source land and spring streams and especially the diverse moorland of Sinnesbrunn. These moors developed after the glacier retreat from dead ice holes or from the ground moraine sealed sinks.

Living traditions and culture

The country and its people



The largest carnival in the Alpine region takes place every four years in Imst and is known as the colourful "Imster Schemenlaufen". Everything revolves around the "Roller" (jumpers) and "Scheller" (ringers), the colourful costumes and mystical masks. UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2012.


The bewitched village of Tarrenz owes its nickname to the wild carnival witches. Every four years, the jumpers battle the ringers, spring battles winter, and its victory is celebrated with its own carnival beer.


Nassereith's Schellerlaufen is the most colourful carnival in the Tyrolean Oberland and is held every three years. Each of the strikingly colourful silk costumes is a valuable unique one-off, which a great deal of preparation, time and love goes into. The Schellerlaufen has a centuries-old, almost mystical tradition in Nassereith and was declared "Intangible Cultural Heritage" by the UNESCO in 2012. For some years now, the tradition can also be admired all year round in the carnival museum.