Kreuzenstein Castle

Leobendorf, Austria

Kreuzenstein castle was constructed on the remains of an early medieval castle that had fallen into disrepair and was then demolished during the Thirty Years' War. Intended to be a family vault for the Wilczek family, it was rebuilt in the 19th century by Count Nepomuk Wilczek with money from the family's large Silesian coal mines. Kreuzenstein is interesting in that it was constructed out of sections of medieval structures purchased by the family from all over Europe to form an authentic-looking castle.

The origins of Kreuzenstein, like most castles in Lower Austria, date back to the 12th century. Originally built by the Counts of Formbach (now Vornbach, Bavaria), the castle passed into the possession of the Counts of Wasserburg through marriage. Through Ottokar II of Bohemia, the castle came into the possession of the Habsburgs, in 1278.

In July 1527, the Anabaptist preacher Balthasar Hubmaier was arrested under the pretext of causing riots in Mikulov, Moravia and transferred to Burg Kreuzenstein. He was interrogated there but refused to renounce his beliefs and was burned at the stake in Vienna. Until the Thirty Years War, the castle had never been conquered but then it fell into the hands of the Swedish Field Marshall Lennart Torstensson, who, on his departure in 1645, blew up three parts of the building.

Today the castle is a much-loved tourist destination and museum in the surrounding countryside of Vienna. At one time, a classical concert known as the Burgserenade was held in the great hall of the castle, at the end of June each year. This has been discontinued. Through the year from April to October, a falconry show, known as Adlerwarte Kreuzenstein is held on the estate. The recently renovated Burgtaverne Kreuzenstein is a restaurant, furnished to provide the atmosphere of a medieval tavern.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Austria

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Koen Mulder (3 months ago)
Amazing castle combined with a well guided tour provides a unique experience. The tour is advertised as German only, however the guide was able to speak in Spanish and English as well. Both history and artefacts are explained in detail. I highly recommend this place.
Robby (4 months ago)
We're normally happy to look at castles from the outside but here we paid the 12€ for a guided tour and really enjoyed it! Tours start hourly, can't even get to the inner courtyard without.
Les Rhoades (4 months ago)
The castle is only a 30 minutes drive from Vienna so it's close enough for a morning or afternoon visit. The inside is nice to see, but only via guided visit hosted on the hour. ( In German) sadly they have a no photos or video policy. Take some mental pictures and keep the memories. Free parking with a three minutes walk up the dirt road. Cafe for drinks on site.
Sabina Evtimova (5 months ago)
The price is high for entrance - 12 € for tourist tour, they spoke only in German, I didn't understand any word. No photos allowed in the rooms of the castle. You could make photos out of the rooms but we were with a mask all the time. I'm not impressed with the castle inside, but it's really beautiful outside.
Das Motivation (6 months ago)
Impressively well preserved and maintained. A construction that carries you mentally in times long gone. Thank you for the opportunity to see the way the Wilczek family thought, felt and lived over the centuries.
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