Achstetten Castle is a spacious three-storey building in classicist style. Two wings are loosely attached to the main structure at a right angle. These two wings function as economy buildings. On three sides the castle is surrounded by a large park, which is home to an enclosure where fallow deers are kept. The main access to the castle is by a driveway measuring about 150 metres in length. Noteworthy of the interior are a classicist staircase, 19th century furniture, an iron stove from 1798, portraits of the Freyberg family and a porcelain collection. A raised and roofed passageway on wooden pillars connects the castle to the nearby church. This passageway has a length of approximately 100 metres. Passageways of this kind, which enabled the lord of the castle and his family to enter the church without being subject to the weather, were not uncommon; remnants of such a construction can also be seen at Großlaupheim Castle.
A castle in Achstetten was first mentioned ion 1386. In a description dating from 1449, the castle is said to be a tall building, surrounded by moats and having two bridges. The castle was looted and burnt to the ground during the German Peasants' War in 1525 by members of the local peasant army, the Baltringer Haufe. A new castle was erected in 1583 which was described in 1620 by the visiting abbot of Ochsenhausen Abbey as a splendid palace.
By around 1750 it consisted of an inner yard, surrounded by a large building which contained the stables, a derelict barn and a gate on the ground floor, the granary in the attic and living quarters in between. To the left of the gate there was a prison building and the dairy whereas on the right hand side of the gate more stables for cattle and sheep were located. In the outer yard stood the building allocated to the Vogt as well as a barn. The castle and its gardens were surrounded by a tall hedge which functioned as a living wall.
The original castle was owned by the barons of Freyberg until 1639 after which time it changed hands several times before being bought by Baron Beat Conrad Reuttner von Weyl in 1795. He had the current castle built in 1794–1796. The architect was Franz Anton Bagnato. The building works started one year before the actual contract of sale was signed. Beat Conrad Reuttner von Weyl must therefore have been quite certain of his future acquisition. During the first half of the 19th century, the pond and the moats that surrounded the previous castle were drained and turned into a park. Most recently restoration works at the castle took place in 1982 and 1983. In 1996 a fountain, which already appeared in the original plans by Bagnato, was erected in the castle yard.
Achstetten Castle and its estate are in the possession of the family Reuttner von Weyl who still reside at the castle. It is also home to the offices for the administration and the management of the estate. The castle is in private hands and not accessible to the public.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.