Burg Lockenhaus was built in Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles around 1200, and was initially called 'Leuca' or Léka. The castle is in the Güns Valley, set amidst a hilly terrain in eastern Austria, near the Hungarian border towards Kőszeg.
Settlements in the area of Burg Lockenhaus date to the Stone Age. The castle was built around 1200, although it first appears in written records dated to 1242. Burg Lockenhaus was built to defend the area against the Mongols. The castle was destroyed in 1337 under Charles I of Hungary.
The town was given a market status in 1492. Finally the castle went to the Nadasdy family. Francis II Nadasdy married Elizabeth Báthory, a descendant of Stephen VIII Báthory, who went down in history as the Blood Countess, because of her reign of terror, torturing, and murdering hundreds of women for sadistic pleasure.
The castle and the town saw substantial improvements during the reign of Francis III Nadasdy (1622–1671). During the Turkish War in 1683, there was substantial damage to the town and the castle. In the uprising during the 18th century, there was further looting and destruction.
Today castle facilities are available for weddings, cultural events, conferences, seminars and meetings.
From both the cultural and historical points of view, Lockenhaus Castle, the last genuine knights’ castle with the original medieval kitchen, sanctuary, knights’ hall, chapel and priest’s lodging, puts all other Burgenland fortresses in the shade. A sanctuary in which the light enters through a vaulted ceiling, as it does in many Crusader fortresses, was dedicated to the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar are also supposed to have used the knights’ hall, with the Gothic rib vaulted ceiling, as a secret meeting place. Today Lockenhaus Castle houses a museum with exhibits and guided tours on key points of the castle’s history.
The dungeon is particularly notable. It was hewn out of the rock by Turkish prisoners. According to one document, sixteen Turks were burnt alive in it in 1557. Another feature is the so-called cult room, an underground room about which there are various theories.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.