Hochosterwitz Castle and the market town of Maria Saal can be found in the Zollfeld area in the district of Klagenfurt-Land in the Austrian state of Carinthia, separated by 12 kilometres only.
Built on a 172 metres high limestone rock, Hochosterwitz Castle was first mentioned in 860. In the 11th and 12th century Hochosterwitz Castle functioned as safe haven for the local population during the Turkish invasion. The winding access to the castle hill is blocked by 14 fortified gates. Because of the elaborated construction attacking enemies had to conquer gate by gate whilst being attacked from all sides. It is said that Hochosterwitz Castle has never been conquered and that none of the attackers managed to get beyond the fourth gate.
The small market town of Maria Saal is known for its large pilgrimage church. Because of its size, the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary is often called cathedral, though it never was one. The present fortified church was built in a Late Gothic style between 1430 and 1459.