The 15th-century Pfarrkirche (Parish Church) Originally part of an Augustinian monastery, the chapel was reconstructed in the baroque style, and the church tower is considered to be one of the finest architectural landmarks in the Danube valley.
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. Richard had personally offended Leopold by casting down his standard from the walls at the Battle of Acre, and the duke suspected that King Richard ordered the murder of his cousin Conrad of Montferrat in Jerusalem. In consequence Pope Celestine III excommunicated Leopold for capturing a fellow crusader. The duke finally gave the custody of Richard to Emperor Henry VI, who imprisoned Richard at Trifels Castle. Dürnstein Castle was almost completely destroyed by the troops of the Swedish Empire under Field Marshal Lennart Torstenson in 1645.
Dürnstein is a small town on the Danube river in the Krems-Land district, in the Austrian state of Lower Austria.