Mauterndorf Castle

Mauterndorf, Austria

Burg Mauterndorf is probably built on the site of an old Roman fort that dates to 326 AD or earlier. It protected the Roman mountain road from Teurnia via Radstädter Tauern Pass to Iuvavum (present-day Salzburg) and served as a residence for the Roman administrator in the Noricum province. The original fort was destroyed during the Migration Period.

A castle built on the site in later years was funded and supported by a toll collection system for the nearby road. Evidence for this comes from a deed gift issued by Emperor Henry II in the year 1002. The castle itself was not mentioned until in 1253, th the time when the keep (Bergfried) was erected. Held by the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg, the fortress was significantly enlarged under the rule of the archbishops Burkhard Weisbriach and Leonhard von Keutschach during the 15th century, to reach the form it still has today. The toll system on the Radtsädter Tauern Pass road supported the castle and village until in 1803 when the toll collection was abandoned during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1806 the castle became a possession of the Austrian state.

In 1894 Burg Mauterndorf was purchased by Hermann Epenstein (1851–1934), a Christian of Jewish descent, who served as an Prussian Army surgeon in Berlin. He refurbished and restored the decayed castle with great effort for use as a residence. In 1908 he obtained the minor title of a Ritter von Mauternburg by the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I for his meritorious services and donation to the Crown.

During his service in German South-West Africa in the late 1880s, Epenstein had become friends with Commissioner Heinrich Ernst Göring. Back in Germany, he offered the Göring family hospitality in his residences. He became the attending physician (and slightly hidden lover) of Göring's wife Franziska as well as the godfather and mentor of his children. The Göring family, among them the younger sons Hermann and Albert, frequently stayed at Mauterndorf Castle as Epenstein's guests. Epenstein later became a naturalized Austrian citizen and retired after World War I to live in Mauterndorf. In 1923 he received Hermann Göring who had fled from Germany after the failed Beer Hall Putsch to evade criminal prosecution.

When Epenstein died in 1934, the property would pass to his widow who herself bequested the castle to Epenstein's sponsored child Hermann Göring on her death in 1939. Göring, however, never was formally the owner of the castle as an entry in the land register never occurred, which was decided in a yearlong lawsuit between Epenstein's heirs and the state of Germany. At the end of World War II, Göring tried to flee to 'the castle of my youth', he did however surrender to US Army forces at nearby Bruck because he was afraid of Red Army troops proceeding up the Mur valley towards Mauterndorf.

Since 1968 the building is owned by the state of Salzburg, a castle museum has been established in 2003. A number of other enterprises share the premises including a noted local restaurant and catering service. Other uses have been as a meeting place for scientific conferences of international standing and as venue for various cultural events.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Austria

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Vít Gregor (2 years ago)
Reconstructed compact medieval castle. Audio guides in many languages with a lot of information from castle history and special versions more attractive to kids.
Adelin Banu (2 years ago)
Excelent city with a cosy castle. In the restaurant do yourself a favour and grab an apfelstrudel mit vanilla sauce.
David Berry (2 years ago)
Good fun, great tour, very friendly
Steve Cole (3 years ago)
Excellent place. Lovely people and good skiing
Darija Jandrić Bečić (3 years ago)
Beautiful old Castle. It's a good way to spend a rainy day. You can put some clothes from the old times and make great pictures in them. Great views from the top of the Castle Tower.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).