Medieval castles in Austria

Gallenstein Castle

Founded in 1278, Gallenstein Castle was never conquered. In 1950 a reconstruction was started to restore this Styrian fortress to its former glory. The ruined Gallenstein Castle hosts many concerts and exhibitions as well as the annual Festival St. Gallen.
Founded: 1278 | Location: Sankt Gallen, Austria

Mannsberg Castle

Mannsberg castle was first mentioned in 1065-1075. It has been owned by several families and is still privately owned. Despite the frequent change of ownership, the castle has not significantly changed since the 15th century. The castle chapel with stucco decorations dates from the year 1711.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Kappel am Krappfeld, Austria

Rabenstein Castle Ruins

Rabenstein Castle was built around 1100 to protect nearby Sankt Paul im Lavanttal. It began as a mere watchtower built on a tall hill. Rabenstein became a castle when Engelbert I Sponheim, Margrave of Istria founded St. Paul"s Abbey in 1091 in order to protect the abbey and town around it. The castle was occupied by the Rabensteins (whose name henceforth stuck to the structure) until 1200, the Archbishop of Salzburg ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Sankt Paul im Lavanttal, Austria

Rothenthurn Castle

Rothenthurn ('red tower') castle may have existed since the 11th century. It was an estate of the Counts of Ortenburg and their successors, the Counts of Celje. A castle is documented in 1478, when the area was held by the Meinhardiner House of Gorizia. The present-day Renaissance building with its chapel was erected from the early 16th onwards, it was acquired by Christoph Khevenhüller about 1525 and after ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Spittal an der Drau, Austria

Neuberg Castle

Neuberg Castle in Hartberg is one of the most important preserved castle of Styria. The medieval hilltop castle was built in the 12th century by Gottschalk Schirling as a border castle against the Hungarian armies. It belonged to the Herberstein family until the late 1900s. The square tower is the oldest part of the castle, dating from c. 1160. The finely decorated Renaissance ballroom dates from the 16th century. The ch ...
Founded: c. 1160 | Location: Hartberg, Austria

Lichtenwerth Castle

Lichtenwerth castle was probably once on an island, today on lowland. It was probably built in the 12th century. The first documentary mention was made in 1212. The keep and three-storey main building were renewed in the 18th century. The vaulted kitchen is original and well preserved. The Baroque castle theater dates from 1765 and castle chapel from 1766. Today Lichtenwerth is privately owned and not open to the public.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Münster, Austria

Neuhaus Castle

Neuhaus castle dates probably back to the 13th century. It may have been built on the site of earlier 12th century fortified house. The pentagonal tower was added in the 14th century and the castle was rebuilt during the 16th century. The traffic on the Danube has been able to deny with chain from the chain tower, located below the castle. Neuhaus was besieged at least in 1381, 1386 and 1389.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Neuhaus an der Donau, Austria

Vichtenstein Castle

The Vichtenstein castle sits above the Danube valley opposite to the market municipality of Upper Cell (Lower Bavaria). The castle is in the centre of the municipality Vichtenstein. There is no documentary for the construction of the castle but it is believed to have been started around the year 1100. The castle was an administrative centre of the Bishopric of Passau and in the 14th century it was mortgaged several times ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Vichtenstein, Austria

Glanegg Castle

After Hochosterwitz and Fortress Landskron, Glanegg is the third largest military complex in Carinthia. The history of the castle is first documented in 1121. The first owner was the Duke Henry III of Carinthia. After his death in 1122 it was inherited by his nephew, Count Bernhard von Marburg and later Otakar III. His son, Duke Ottokar IV left the castle after his death in 1192 to Leopold V. From 1473-1478 the castle was ...
Founded: c. 1121 | Location: Mautbrücken, Austria

Hohenburg Castle Ruins

Burgruine Hohenburg auf Rosenberg is a ruined medieval castle probably erected in the late 11th century. The castle was first mentioned as castrum Hohenburc in an 1142 deed. It was then the seat of a Bavarian noble family, who as Counts of Lurn administered the Lurngau region within the Duchy of Carinthia. The last count, Altmann, had become Prince-Bishop of Trent in 1124, and upon his death in 1149, the castle was beques ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Spittal an der Drau, Austria

Wasserburg Castle

The oldest historical documents of Wasserburg castle dates back to 1185. The aristocrat Dietmar von Wasserburg was the first noted owner of the estate. Until the 13th century wasserburg remained in the possession of the von Wasserburg line the most notable member being Heinrich von Wasserburg who was the brother in law of the famouse minnesinger Ulirch von Lichtenstein. Legend says that von Lichtenstein took a leading rol ...
Founded: c. 1185 | Location: Sankt Pölten, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Royal Palace of Naples

Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.

Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.

In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.

During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.

In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.

The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.