Lockenhaus Castle

Lockenhaus, Austria

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.

Architecture

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.

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Details

Founded: 1200
Category: Castles and fortifications in Austria

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Balázs Polgár (6 years ago)
Beautiful castle!
Mario Tavčar (6 years ago)
Nice looking castle
Matej Dudák (6 years ago)
Nice place to visit. Free entrance to the court.
Attila Szűcs (6 years ago)
Very well preserved castle, real medieval atmosphere.
Christina Kaur (7 years ago)
Beautiful, well preserved medieval castle, rich in history. There was a lot to see and we were there about 2 and a half hours. Beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and many great photo opportunities. There is a hotel, restaurant, and small gift shop on site as well as public WC facilities. The castle also hosts special dinners, weddings, and concerts throughout the year. Lockenhaus is a great place for families, but there are a lot of stairs in and around the castle, so some areas may be difficult for very small children or the elderly to access. The staff were polite and courteous. We look forward to visiting again to stay the night and see the bats ☺
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