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.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
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