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

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dmytro Popravka (4 months ago)
Just wow castle. Shame it is closed during winter time, my guess it’s worth buying ticket and visiting inner castle. Outside castle is great and the view even in winter is breathtaking. Very easy to get here by car, it even has a parking lot just below the castle.
Amanda Hirschl (7 months ago)
The castle is very beautiful and definitely worth a visit, but don't expect anything like an authentic medieval castle. The guide provide interesting stories about the objects and rooms inside the castle, but it is only available in German. On specific days there is also a falcon show with big birds that is also worth seeing.
Hoffman Post (8 months ago)
This is an excellent castle to visit! With a guided tour that lasts 1 hour and a falcon show for 1 hour and a great restaurant. The tour was 15€ and the falcon show was 12€ per adult. At the restaurant we had the goulash and Radlers with coffee and marble cake! It was all delicious and with nice service.
michal elkind (8 months ago)
No English tours, but you have to enter with a tour guide and follow them while they explain in German. Tour only every hour, but wealth the wait.
Pontus Thedvall (9 months ago)
Kreuzenstein Castle is beautiful and a definite "must see". Every top of the hour they have tours but tragically only in German, but I was notified until after I purchased the ticket and the tour had started. In addition, no pictures were allowed inside the castle, other than in the courtyard. To conclude, I was greatly disappointed that I did not experience the tour per my expectation as I did not understand the guide, nor did I get the chance to capture architectural shots from inside the castle. Because of the conditions were not communicated prior to purchasing the ticket, I only gave castle Kreuzenstein three stars. On the side note, there's enough parking for an entire garrison and the restaurant, located outside the castle provided good quality dishes. Overall, I do recommend a visit but understand that the entrance fee (guided tour) will not give you the value you expect if you do not understand German or if you are interested in capturing pictures (historical / architectural) inside the castle.
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