The current Château de la Ballue was built by Gilles de Ruellan in 1620 and renovated in 1705. In the 19th century there was a glass factory. The highlight of any stay at the castle will be tea and a guided tour of those magnificent gardens.

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Founded: 1620
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Timothy Duncan (11 months ago)
What a magical place! The beautiful Chateau and gorgeous gardens transport one to another time and place. Marie Francoise was a gracious and accommodating host. Planned as a one night stop from Normandy to Paris, we so regret not having made arrangements to stay and linger a while.
Dennis Corsten (13 months ago)
We didn't stay at the hotel but visited for it wonderful gardens, this place is a real gem. Very tranquil gardens beautifully kept by people who care. Nice selection of statues around the gardens and great little place to have a cup of tea in the gardens. -- Find my review helpful? Please click like /
Michael Simpson (15 months ago)
Wonderful Chateau and the last night of our honeymoon. Stunning gardens and a beautiful bedroom with far reaching views over the countryside....watching the sun set over incredible countryside. Very warm welcome from Marion and the owners. Nice tea house that was open when we arrived and the swimming pool was delightful. What a place to spend a honeymoon - and the weather was very kind. Thank you.
nazila merati (16 months ago)
This rating is for the gardens - they are fantastic. I would love to stay at the hotel. I believe they were not taking reservations the week we visited.
Russ Howell (16 months ago)
This is a lovely garden and we are so fond of it that we visit every year at May time when the wisteria is at its best.They also do good coffee and home made cake.
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Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.

The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.

In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.

Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.

About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.

A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.