Castles and fortifications in Austria

Gmünd Castle

Gmünd Castle dates from the mid-13th century. During the Austrian-Hungarian War in 1487 it was occupied and destroyed by the troops of King Matthias Corvinus after a seven-years-long siege, and rebuilt from 1502 to 1506 under the Salzburg archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach. During the German Peasants" War of 1525, it was again besieged, though not captured. Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau had the building enla ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Gmünd, Austria

Kreuzenstein Castle

Kreuzenstein castle was constructed on the remains of an early medieval castle that had fallen into disrepair and was then demolished during the Thirty Years" War. Intended to be a family vault for the Wilczek family, it was rebuilt in the 19th century by Count Nepomuk Wilczek with money from the family"s large Silesian coal mines. Kreuzenstein is interesting in that it was constructed out of sections of medieva ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Leobendorf, Austria

Franziskischlössl

The Franziskischlössl ('Francis′ Castle') is a defence tower that was part of the 17th century city walls of Salzburg. It was built by the cathedral architect, Santino Solari, from 1622-1629. The Franziskischlössl is situated at the most exposed point of Mount Kapuzinerberg, home to an inn and a very popular hiking trip destination.
Founded: 1622-1629 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Mauterndorf Castle

Burg Mauterndorf is probably built on the site of an old Roman fort that dates to 326 AD or earlier. It protected the Roman mountain road from Teurnia via Radstädter Tauern Pass to Iuvavum (present-day Salzburg) and served as a residence for the Roman administrator in the Noricum province. The original fort was destroyed during the Migration Period. A castle built on the site in later years was funded and supported ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Mauterndorf, Austria

Güssing Castle

Established around 1157, Burg Güssing is the oldest castle in Burgenland. In 1524, Francis I, Batthyány (1497–1566) received it and the associated lands. The family still retains ownership. Times changed and due to the modernization of warfare, the castle and fortress of Güssing slowly lost its strategic importance. In 1777 all guns were removed. Due to the high cost of maintenance and the introduc ...
Founded: c. 1157 | Location: Güssing, Austria

Landskron Castle

Landskron is a ruined castle northeast of Villach in the state of Carinthia. The estates around Lake Ossiach were first mentioned in an 878 deed issued by the East Frankish king Carloman of Bavaria, who granted them to the monastery of Altötting he had established shortly before. About 1024 the area was among the Carinthian possessions of one Count Ozi of the Chiemgau, probably a scion of the Otakar dynasty, who founded ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Gratschach, Austria

Franzensburg Castle

Franzensburg palace was built in 1801-1836 in the style of and medieval castle. It is named after Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor. In 1806 the ferry started to be used to cross the pond from the mainland to the palace island. In winter it was replaced by a wooden bridge. The castle is surrounded with a 250-hectare castle park built in the late 18th century English style. Today the castle and park is a popular excu ...
Founded: 1801-1836 | Location: Laxenburg, Austria

Hasegg Castle

Hasegg Castle construction was completed soon after 1300, when Hall was rapidly becoming the center of Tyrolean commerce and salt mining. The building was originally erected to protect the salt mines, the shipping industry, the bridge across the river Inn and the old Roman Road. The castle's mint was established by Sigismund, Archduke of Austria in 1477. The first dollar-size silver coin was struck in 1486. When Ferdinan ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Hall in Tirol, Austria

Freistadt Castle

Freistadt Castle was built, together with its bergfried, between 1363 and 1398, and was used to reinforce the fortifications of the town of Freistadt. Today the castle houses the tax office and the Mühlviertel Castle Museum. The building of the castle was begun in 1363 in order to bolster the town"s fortifications, Duke Rudolph IV the Founder issuing the orders for its construction. Until it was completed, all ...
Founded: 1363-1398 | Location: Freistadt, Austria

Liechtenstein Castle

Liechtenstein Castle is a castle near Maria Enzersdorf in Lower Austria bordering Vienna. The castle, originally built during the 12th century, was destroyed by the Ottomans in 1529 and 1683, and remained in ruins until 1884, when it was rebuilt. Liechtenstein Castle is the origin of the name of the Liechtenstein family, the ruling house of the country of the same name, which owned the castle from at least 1140 until the ...
Founded: c. 1140 | Location: Maria Enzersdorf, Austria

Kollmitz Castle Ruins

Kollmitz Castle is a ruined castle east of Raabs an der Thaya in Lower Austria. The castle was first mentioned in the 13th century and the construction of its main tower was completed in 1319. In the 14th century the castle was used as a district court with ownership changing often. In 1411 the Freiherr von Hofkirchen came into possession of the castle, whose family would control the castle for the next two centuries. Th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Raabs an der Thaya, Austria

Prandegg Castle Ruins

Prandegg Castle is an elongated castle on a hilltop adjacent to a collection of rocky cliffs. It lies between two valleys formed by the Waldaist River and the smaller Prandegg stream. The first written mention of the castle occurred in 1287. Prandegg was for centuries intimately connected with Markt Zell (today Bad Zell) and the nearby Zellhof Palace. Since the local boundaries changed in 1784, the castle now belongs to t ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Schönau im Mühlkreis, Austria

Freisaal Castle

The scenic Freisaal Castle dates from the Middle ages. The oldest record of the building dates back to 1392. The name is derived from 'Freudensaal', meaning 'pleasure hall'. Its original purpose was just that: to serve as a pleasure castle for Prince Archbishop Pilgrim II. von Puchheim. Ernst von Bayern re-modelled the building in 1549. A fundamental change in the building′s structures was cause ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Landsee Castle

Landsee Castle was built in the 12th century. The mighty complex is one of Europe’s biggest defensive structures. The Esterhazy family has owned the fortress for centuries. In the 18th century a fire destroyed the bastion that was once thought of as impregnable. The view from the castle keep of the Pannonian plain, across to the Geschriebenstein and the foothills of the Alps, is unsurpassed. The imposing site, set ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Landsee, Austria

Deutschlandsberg Castle

Deutschlandsberg Castle was first documented in 1153. The castle comprises Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles. Today Deutschlandsberg is a hotel and venue for weddings and other events.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Deutschlandsberg, Austria

Strassburg Castle

Straßburg Castle fas first time mentioned in 1147. It was built by Roman I, the bishop of Gurk. The chapel was built in the late 12th century, consisting of nave, chancel and apse. In the 14th century, the chapel was raised by one floor, and another floor was erected in the 15th century above the choir. The last modification to to the choir took place in 1682. In the 14th century, the eastern tower was built on the ...
Founded: c. 1147 | Location: Straßburg-Stadt, Austria

Tratzberg Castle

Documented for the first time in the 13th century the Tratzberg castle was used as former border stronghold against the Bavarians and as Emperor Maximilian’s I hunting lodge. In the late 15th century the former fortress was destroyed by fire. The Emperor did not rebuild Tratzberg but exchanged the ruin for a castle of the Taenzels, wealthy owners of a silver mine. They had built the first late Gothic part of today&r ...
Founded: 1500 | Location: Tratzberg, Austria

Sommeregg Castle

Sommeregg is a medieval castle near Seeboden situated in the foothills of the Nock Mountains. The castle was probably erected in the 12th century. The Lords of Sommeregg then served as ministeriales of Count Otto II of Ortenburg, who ruled over extended estates in Upper Carinthia, rivalling with the House of Gorizia and the Salzburg archbishops. In the 14th century, the Lords of Sommeregg achieved the knightly status of ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Seeboden, Austria

Falkenstein Castle Ruins

Falkenstein Castle in the Weinviertel region of Lower Austria was founded around 1050 by Emperor Henry III. 1106 Leopold III, Margrave of Austria purchased the castle, from then on it was owned by the rulers of Austria. 1572 Maximilian II sold Falkenstein to the Baron (later Count) of Trautson. In 1645, in the last period of the Thirty Years' War Falkenstein was conquered by Swedish forces, but not destroyed. Its decay b ...
Founded: c. 1050 | Location: Mistelbach, Austria

Oberkapfenberg Castle

Oberkapfenberg is mentioned in a document for the first time in 1173. The current castle was erected around 1264. It was the residence and administrative seat of the Counts of Stubenberg and the seat of the regional High Court for most of the Mürz Valley. Around 1550 it was converted into a Renaissance fortress that was abandoned in 1739 and fell into disrepair. After 1955 the Stubenberg Family rebuilt their ancestra ...
Founded: c. 1264 | Location: Kapfenberg, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Sirmione Castle

Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.

Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.