Starhemberg Castle

Dreistetten, Austria

The first small Starhemberg castle was built by Ottokar III, Margrave of Styria between 1140 and 1145. At the time, the Piesting river was the border between Styria and the March of Austria. In 1192, Styria—and, thus, the castle—was acquired by the Babenbergs. The last Babenberger duke of Austria, Frederick II the Warlike, expanded and fortified the castle, leaving Starhemberg as one of the most important castles in Lower Austria in the 13th century. In wartime, the archives and the family treasure was hidden here, and were guarded by the Teutonic Knights.

After the Battle on the Marchfeld in 1278, the castle was acquired by the Habsburgs. In 1482, the castle was captured by Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary. In 1683, the castle offered protection from the Turks to the surrounding population.

To escape a new roof-tax the counts of Heusenstamm around 1800 had the roof covering removed, as well as doors and window frames, beginning the decline of the castle. Around 1870, a large part of the great hall collapsed. Until the mid-20th century, the ruins were used for the extraction of construction materials by the local population.

In the spring of 1945 a unit of the Waffen-SS used the ruined tower above the chapel as an observation post. Russian artillery fire inflicted heavy damage to the walls.

In the second half of the 20th century a local organisation, Friends of the Castle Starhemberg, has sought to restore the ruins. Since 2007, the castle has been closed to visitors, for security.

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Details

Founded: 1140
Category: Castles and fortifications in Austria

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Christoph Pöll (16 months ago)
It's a small but atmospheric ruin. Walking through had something mystical. It's a nice place to be, but be warned: Since the ruins are very dilapidated, you are not allowed to enter them. Doing so is at your own risk, so watch out and tread carefully.
Marek Heidinger (17 months ago)
Schöne Ruine. Im Winter bei viel Schnee noch schöner.
DERFILMEMACHER Jürgen S. (18 months ago)
Immer wieder sehr schön, einen Besuch wert.
Bernd Weninger (2 years ago)
Man darf ja offiziell nicht hinein, das Tor ist auch abgesperrt, vor Einsturzgefahr wird gewarnt.
Brian Foree (3 years ago)
Rough (not maintained anymore), but very romantic castle with lovely views!
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