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Dürnstein is a small town on the Danube river in the Krems-Land district, in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Wachau region and also a well-known wine growing area.
Dürnstein was first mentioned in 1192, when, in the castle above the town, King Richard I Lionheart of England was held captive by Duke Leopold V of Austria after their dispute during the Third Crusade. The duke finally gave the custody of Richard to Emperor Henry VI, who imprisoned Richard at Trifels Castle.
There is a statue of Richard the Lionheart and Blondel the minstrel on the Danube River in the Wachau Valley near Durnstein.
Dürnstein Castle was almost completely destroyed by the troops of the Swedish Empire under Field Marshal Lennart Torstenson in 1645.
During the War of the Third Coalition the Battle of Dürenstein was fought nearby on November 11, 1805.