Kienburg Castle

Matrei, Austria

The medieval Kienburg castle was located between Huben and St. Johann im Walde, in the municipality of Matrei. Its name derives from the old German term for 'kühn', that's to say bold, or from Archbishop Erich Kuenburg, one of its owners. It is a hill castle, located in the forest above the Iseltal valley and mentioned for the first time around 1000 AD.

The castle had a key position in the trade of the Iseltal, Defereggental and Kalsertal valleys. Once, the mighty Earls of Lechsgemünde inhabited the castle, in the following centuries, it was witness and centre of fight and devastation. Among the owners there were the Bishopric of Salzburg and Knight Earl Christoph von Kienburg, its last inhabitant when it was destroyed by a fire in 1579. In 1945, an American aerial bomb destroyed most of the still existing walls.

Currently, the Kienburg Castle Ruin is being renovated: It is in private hands, the surrounding is a restricted archaeological area.



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Kienburg 7, Matrei, Austria
See all sites in Matrei


Founded: c. 1000 AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Austria

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3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nala Cira (11 months ago)
Hard to see at first glance.
Helga Brüllbully (2 years ago)
Unfortunately, you cannot visit the castle. A pity
Vedran Vrhovac (2 years ago)
Private property, unable to access it
Stefan B. (3 years ago)
Unfortunately, there are no parking options if you come by car. It also appears that the castle is on private property. The access road is blocked with a fence.
Helmuth Mayrhofer (5 years ago)
From the once mighty hilltop castle of Kienburg, which is enthroned on steep cliffs, today only parts of the building and walls that are in danger of collapsing have survived. The castle was first mentioned in 1184. In 1579 there was a devastating fire that destroyed practically all wooden buildings. After that, only the stone residential tower was provisionally repaired. Around the year 1660, the damage to the buildings and walls was already so great that the Kienburg was left to further decay. In 1769 parts had already collapsed. The ruins, which are impressive despite their morbid structural condition, can already be seen from the street and you can walk around the castle rock to get a better impression of this former fortification. However, due to the acute danger of collapse, a closer inspection of the facility is strongly discouraged.
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