Landskron Castle

Gratschach, Austria

Landskron is a ruined castle northeast of Villach in the state of Carinthia. The estates around Lake Ossiach were first mentioned in an 878 deed issued by the East Frankish king Carloman of Bavaria, who granted them to the monastery of Altötting he had established shortly before. About 1024 the area was among the Carinthian possessions of one Count Ozi of the Chiemgau, probably a scion of the Otakar dynasty, who founded Ossiach Abbey nearby. A castle already existed, when in 1330 the estates were acquired by the Counts of Ortenburg; Landskron itself was first mentioned in 1351.

In 1355, the Habsburg duke Albert II of Austria, also Carinthian duke since 1335, purchased Landskron Castle as a strategic important stronghold within the Carinthian possessions of the Bamberg prince-bishops. Later, the Habsburg rulers temporarily gave it in pawn to the Counts of Celje, heirs of the Ortenburg dynasty in 1418, and the Lords of Stubenberg. In 1511 Emperor Maximilian bestowed the estate to the Knightly Order of Saint George at Millstatt, while the fortress decayed.

In 1542 Emperor Ferdinand I finally sold Landskron Castle to the Ortenburg castellan Christoph Khevenhüller in 1542, who made the castle his main residence and had it rebuilt in a lavish Renaissance style. In 1552 Khevenhüller even received the visit of Emperor Charles V, who, on the run from the Protestant troops of Elector Maurice of Saxony, had fled to Carinthia. Nevertheless the Khevenhüllers, themselves Protestant, were stripped of Landskron Castle by order of Emperor Ferdinand II in 1628.

The castle passed to the comital family of Dietrichstein in 1639. After the 1648 Peace of Westphalia the Khevenhüllers claimed it back and began a decades-long lawsuit, though without success. A blaze in 1812 finally devastated Landskron, which was not rebuilt and fell into ruins. In 1953, its remains were conserved and a restaurant was opened within its walls. Today the castle is also known for its falconry centre conducting regular flying demonstrations.

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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Austria

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marina Jurak Milaković (5 months ago)
What an incredible experience! The show featured a captivating display of magnificent birds, including eagles, owls, and falcons soaring overhead while providing insightful knowledge about their habitats and hunting techniques. The stuff is very polite and work with their full heart and respect with these birds! It’s so pleasent to see how they like their job! The primary language spoken was German, but they thoughtfully translated the most crucial information into English. Post-show, you have the chance to capture a photo with some of the smaller birds and then take a leisurely stroll through the area. Along the way, you'll encounter birds that participated in the show as well as others. At the outset, it's emphasized that the birds act voluntarily, and if they choose not to participate, they're free to fly away. Fortunately, on our visit they truly engage. Plus: If you're spending a few days in the region, consider obtaining the Kärnten Card for complimentary access to the Adler-Arena. Moreover, you can maximize your visit by combining it with a trip to the Affenberg, conveniently within walking distance and also covered by the Kärnten Card.
Boštjan Žmuc (6 months ago)
Very nice experience to be with monkeys in the nature. Recommended for all animal lovers. ???
Chanan Berler (7 months ago)
Nice experience but not must if you already seen similar. Birds were flying and visit was great. Entrance was expensive for short demo. English explanation was short.
Tomaž Jereb (7 months ago)
Nice experience. A very nicely decorated place. They do everything to preserve wild birds of prey. Commendable
T. S. (8 months ago)
Wonderful experience! During the show, you can see many impressive birds (eagles, owls, falcons) fly over your head and simultaneously learn about them — their habitat, their hunting techniques, etc. The main language is German, but a lot of the information was also translated into English (at least the most relevant bits.) After the show, you can take a picture with some of the smaller birds and afterwards walk leisurely through the place, where you'll find some of the birds that were part of the show, and others that weren't. It's stated at the beginning of the show that the birds aren't forced to do anything and if they don't feel like participating, they can just fly away. We were lucky that not only did they decide to play along, but even an eagle that wasn't supposed to be part of it decided to show up and entertain us. If you're in the region for a few days, getting the Kärnten Card may be a good idea, since it grants you free entry to the Adler-Arena, and you can combine it with the Affenberg, which is in walking distance, and is also included in the Kärnten Card.
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