Kobersdorf castle was built in 1528 to the site of moated fortress from the 13th century. The history of original castle dates back to the age of Ludwig the German (806-876). The first document of Kobersdorf castle dates from 1229. The fortress withstood the first siege in 1270. 10 years later it was conquered, also 1289 after it was successfully recaptured. Finally, Duke Albrecht I and King Ándrás III concluded the peace treaty of Hainburg in 1291.
In 1319, King Karl Robert sold the estates to Count Simon II of Forchtenstein-Mattersburg. His father and uncle were the brothers of Tota, a spanish court lady of the hungarian King. Both of them have proved themselves in the spanish reconquista and were therefore allowed to wear the spanish eagle in their coat of arms.
About 1430, the artistic decoration of the fortress, from which only the baptistery remained, was made by Count Wilhelm Forchtenstein-Mattersburg, who also changed the main residence of the family from Forchtenstein to Kobersdorf. 1445, Wilhelm put the estates in pawn to the austrish Duke Albrecht VI, who in turn sold the fortress 1451 to his brother, emperor Friedrich III. When Wilhelm died in 1466, he left two daughters. According to the law, the estates has to be given back to the Hungarian Kingdom. But abiding the agreement on ceasefire of 1447, in which Albrecht VI was certified in the posession of Kobersdorf, the estates now were for the first time under Austrian rule.
In 1458 Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, conquered Kobersdorf, but according to the peace of Sopron 1463, the fortress remains in the Hands of Austria. Nevertheless, when count Wilhelm Forchtenstein died in 1466, Corvinus gave Kobersdorf to Weisspriach as a present, in consequence of their unfaithfulness for the Habsburg emperor.
The rampart in westward direction and a bigger chapel were erected in 1482. Both of the buildings were held in the style of the late gothic.
In 1529, the Weisspriach family enlarged the fortress of Kobersdorf to a castle and extend the rampart in the style of renaissance. However, in 1683 the turks captured the castle. They ordered the demolishing of the fortress, which existed until then besides the castle.
In 1704, Franz Kéry sold the estate to his brother-in-law Paul I. Fürst Esterházy. Henceforth, the castle lost its function as an residence. This, on the one hand, causes the preservation of the architectural style, but on the other hand, the castle got more and more derelicted. 1809 it was a quarter for french officers, 1876, a fire destroyed the roof, 1914 and 1942-45 a military prison, and 1945-47, a quarter for the russian red army.
Today the castle is known as a location of concerts, exhibitions and seminars. Parts of the castle can be rented for weddings and celebrations. By agreement, guided visitations are possible.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.