Artstetten Castle

Artstetten, Austria

Artstetten Castle is the resting place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. The first castle was in the 13th century and was replaced by Renaissance style palace in 1560-1592. It was owned by a number of families over the centuries until it was purchased in 1823 by Emperor Francis I of Austria. In 1852, Archduke Franz Karl of Austria became the owner, then he gave it in 1861 to his third son, Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria. In 1889, the property was given to Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, who made extensive renovations to the castle.

Formerly used as a summer residence by members of the Habsburg dynasty, the castle is now the final resting place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his morganatic wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, who were assassinated in 1914. Emperor Franz Joseph I refused to allow them to be interred in the traditional Imperial Crypt at the Capuchin Church, Vienna, because of their morganatic marriage. It also houses the Archduke Franz Ferdinand Museum.

After Konopiště Castle was confiscated by Czechoslovakia in 1921 as part of the confiscation of Hapsburg properties under the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Arstetten became the Hohenberg family's primary residence. The castle remains their private property, and parts of the castle are open to the public for visits.

After the Anschluss in 1938, Nazi Germany deported the Hohenbergs to Dachau concentration camp for their anti-Nazi views and confiscated the castle. After the Vienna offensive, the Soviet occupation authorities allowed the residents of Arstetten to elect Duke Maximilian as their mayor, and the Republic of Austria formally returned the castle to the family in 1949, being unable to retain ownership as the Hohenbergs were not covered by the Habsburg Law.

After the death of Franz, Duke of Hohenberg in 1977, the property was deeded to his eldest child, Princess Anita of Hohenberg. The Anita Hohenberg Trust was set up in 2003, and she and her family manage the property.



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Founded: 1560
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Austria

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User Reviews

MJ de Jong (5 months ago)
A GEM if you are interested in history. We enjoyed a wonderful tour by an enthusiastic guide. History really came to life in such a manner we did a second tour on our own. Also visited the gardens of the castle. Spend well over three hours visiting this wonderful place.
Zoltán Nagy (6 months ago)
Nice caste to visit. We did not enter the museum exhibition due to lack of time.
Eliška Musilová (7 months ago)
Cute, quite small chateau. I haven't been to the indoor exposition, just the outdoors, and it was nice. Great stop to rest on a long way.
Elizabeth Hodgson (7 months ago)
We absolutely loved our visit to the castle. It is so interesting historically and everything is beautifully presented. I very much recommend buying the audio guide if you don't speak German. It really adds to the experience. Fascinating exhibits and the tragic story of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's death is well told. There is a wonderful insight into him as a person and as a loving husband and family man. We also loved hearing what happened to his family and seeing the wonderful photos. The current peace tribute is very moving. Fantastic value for money. My 20 year old son also really enjoyed the visit. Thanks very much for an amazing visit. I recommend it wholeheartedly!
Regina Bischof (2 years ago)
Nice exhibition, nice Café, relaxing garden area. It's not exciting, but very calm, best if you look for something to wind down.
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