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.

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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.
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Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.

Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.