Medieval castles in Austria

Senftenberg Castle

Senftenberg Castle was mentioned first time in 1197. In the 13th century it belonged to the Zebringer family and between the 14th and 15th centuries to the Wallseern family. The castle was destroyed during the rebellion in 1407-1409 and rebuilt later. It was a refuge place during the Siege of Vienna in the Ottoman Wars. The castle was finally destroyed by the Swedish troops in the Thirty Years' War in 1645. Today still im ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Senftenberg, Austria

Ottenstein Castle

The mighty shingle-covered cone and hipped roofs of Ottenstein Castle are an impressive sight. Antique fairs, art and other special exhibitions are regularly held in the castle. Of particular interest to art-lovers is the Romanesque castle chapel with vaulted ceilings decorated with monumental frescos dating back to about 1170. There is also a restaurant. One of Ottenstein family members was first mentioned in 1177, but ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ottenstein, Austria

Kobersdorf Castle

Kobersdorf castle was built in 1528 to the site of moated fortress from the 13th century. The history of original castle dates back to the age of Ludwig the German (806-876). The first document of Kobersdorf castle dates from 1229. The fortress withstood the first siege in 1270. 10 years later it was conquered, also 1289 after it was successfully recaptured. Finally, Duke Albrecht I and King Ándrás III concl ...
Founded: 13th century/1528 | Location: Kobersdorf, Austria

Saalhof Castle

Saalhof is one of the oldest castles in the Pinzgau region. It dates back to the 11th century, when it apparently was the home of the Counts of the region. During the renovation of the facade in 2010, the oldest parts of the castle on the north-east side were revealed. In 1600, Christoff Amann from Judendorf and Saal rebuilt the castle. The marble relief and emblem above the main entrance, laid in 1606, as well as a large ...
Founded: 11th century/1600 | Location: Atzing, Austria

Feistritz Castle

Feistritz Castle in Ilz was built in the 12th century and mentioned in 1122. The current main building dates from 1570. The castle was restored and expanded after the fire in 1605.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ilz, Austria

Araburg Castle

Araburg castle was built in the 12th century and continues to expand into the 17th century. During the first Turkish siege of 1529 it was a refuge place for the local population. Araburg also played a role in the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. In 1683 it was destroyed during the second Turkish siege. Since then Araburg has been ruined.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kaumberg, Austria

Neulengbach Castle

Neulengbach castle dominates the view above the town of Neulengbach. The castle has a three-storey main building and double defensive ring with eight round towers. There is a magnificent Renaissance portal and a courtyard with Tuscan columns and fountain. The Neulengbach castle was founded around 1189. The castle became the center of the local rule of Lengenbach family. After extinction of Lengenbacher in 1236 it came in ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Neulengbach, Austria

Plankenstein Castle

Plankenstein castle was documented first time in 1186 when it was built by Plankensteiner family, vassals of the Counts of Peilstein. The castle was rebuilt in 1453. Plankenstein was renovated in the late 20th century and is today a hotel.
Founded: c. 1186 | Location: Plankenstein, Austria

Gutenberg Castle

Schloss Gutenberg stands on a prominent rock. IT was founded by Luitold III of Waldstein, who moved into the castle in 1185. The castle has belonged to the Stubenberg family since 1288. The oldest section from the 12th century was supplemented by a 2-story bailey that is protected by two moats. The outer moat is bridged today, the inner was filled in. The castle was remodeled and expanded, mixing the medieval style with R ...
Founded: 1185 | Location: Gutenberg-Stenzengreith, Austria

Schachenstein Castle Ruins

Schachenstein Castle was the last hill castle to be built in the Styria. It was built in 1464 by Abbot John II Schachner of Lambrecht as a summer residence and lordly manor. It was extended in 1630 and 1740. From the end of the 18th century the castle lost its significance and fell into ruins. The main purpose of the fortification was as a home and summer residence of the abbots of St. Lambrecht"s Abbey as evinced b ...
Founded: 1464 | Location: Thörl, Austria

Dobra Castle Ruins

Dobra castle was built in the 12th century and first mentioned in 1186. The name Dobra is derived from Slavic word for forest. At the beginning of the 18th century Baron Johann Philipp von Ehrmann was the landlord Dobra. After he expanded the Wetzlas castle into a mansion, Dobra castle fell into disrepair.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Pölla, Austria

Arnoldstein Abbey Ruins

Arnoldstein is a former Benedictine abbey. A fortress at the site was first mentioned about 1085/90, then held by ministeriales of the Bamberg prince-bishops who had received extended Carinthian estates from the hands of Emperor Henry II on the occasion of his coronation in 1014. To strengthen his episcopal authority, Bishop Otto of Bamberg had the castle slighted and established a Benedictine convent at the site in 1106. ...
Founded: c. 1080 | Location: Arnoldstein, Austria

Ortenburg Castle Ruins

Ortenburg castle was erected in the late 11th century by ministeriales of the Bavarian Prince-Bishops of Freising, who then held large possessions in the Duchy of Carinthia. Their descendants began to call themselves Counts of Ortenburg. The castle is located on the northern slope of the Gailtal Alps overlooking the Drava valley. Damaged by the 1348 Friuli earthquake, the significance of the castle diminuished after the ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Baldramsdorf, Austria

Taggenbrunn Castle Ruins

Taggenbrunn Castle site was already used as a Celtic-Roman hillfort settlement in the 6th century BC. The first mention of current castle dates from 1142. The castle was destroyed in 1258 in a rebellion agains Duke Albrecht I and rebuilt ten years later. Later the castle was owned by the Holy Roman Empire and archbishopric of Salzburg. The castle was expanded in 1497-1503. In the 17th and 18th centuries Taggenbrunn was le ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Taggenbrunn, Austria

Greifenstein Castle

Greifenstein castle overlooks the Danube river. Approximately opposite is Burg Kreuzenstein, on the north shore of the Danube. The castle is thought to be built around the 11th century, and was first mentioned in 1135. However, the owners of the castle changed owners frequently during its service from the 11th century to 1918. It began life playing a significant role in the defense system along the Danube. More recently, ...
Founded: | Location: Sankt Andrä-Wördern, Austria

Itter Castle

A fort at the site of Itter castle was first mentioned in a 1241. The previous constructions may have existed since the 10th century. The Brixental originally was a possession of the Prince-Bishops of Regensburg; the castle was an administrative seat of the Counts of Ortenburg in their capacity as Vogt bailiffs, it also served to protect the Regensburg estates from incursions undertaken by the neighbouring Archbishops of ...
Founded: 10th century/1878 | Location: Itter, Austria

Wagrain Castle

Wagrain Castle was first mentioned in 1135. From 1447 on, it belonged to the Engl family of Steyr. In 1499, the property was raised to a noble estate by Emperor Maximilian I. Except for a religiously motivated break in 1620, the castle and its estate remained with the Engl family until the early 20th century. In 1717 the Engls were raised to Counts. With the death of Count Siegmund Engl in 1911, the male line became extin ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Vöcklabruck, Austria

Bidenegg Castle

Bidenegg castle in Fliess was mentioned for the first time in 1339 AD. It was acquired in 1546 by Hans Trautson. The complex was rebuilt in the 16th century, and still retains its appearance. Bidenegg is not open to the public.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Flies, Austria

Reifenstein Castle Ruins

Reifenstein castle was probably built in the 12th century by the Reifenstein family, a branch of Liechtenstein family. In the 13th and 14th century extensions were completed. 1521, the castle was sold to Sebald Pögl from Thörl and rebuilt in the Renaissance style. 1698 the castle came into the possession of the family Schwarzenberg who still owns Reifenstein lands. The castle was inhabited until 1809. It was dam ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Pöls-Oberkurzheim, Austria

Hohenwang Castle

Hohenwang castle dates back to the 12th century and was one of the most important medieval fortifications that time. It is exceptional long structure and one the largest castles in Styria. It consists of the stronghold and two outworks, which are separated by trenches. Their massive decline began in the late 18th century, after it was severely damaged by an earthquake. During World War II more parts of the ruins were dest ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Langenwang, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.