Schloss Stainz

Stainz, Austria

Schloss Stainz is a former monastery of the Augustinian Canons in Stainz. Today the Baroque complex belongs to the Counts of Meran and hosts two museum collections from the Universal Museum Joanneum.

Stainz Priory was founded by the Augustinian Canons in 1229 when Leutold I von Wildon, lord of the manor of Stainz, allowed a small church with a monastery attached to be established on the mountain where his castle stood. The monastery was settled by canons regular from Seckau Priory.

The priory experienced its heyday during the early 16th century under provost Jakob Roselenz (1596-1629), under whom the community was reorganised and the church, previously neglected, was enlarged. The interior was later refurbished in the Baroque style with extensive stucco decoration. The church organ counts among the largest and most melodious in Styria and was restored in 1980.

The monastery was dissolved in 1785 as part of the rationalist reforms of the Emperor Joseph II. The church however remained in use.

In 1840 Archduke Johann, son of Leopold II and an avid hunter, purchased the building complex from the town for the sum of 40,000 guilders for use as a hunting box, known thereafter as Schloss Stainz. Since his death in 1859, it has remained in the family estate of his descendants, the Counts of Meran.

Today, besides offering gardens and rooms to rent for engagements, the castle houses two collections from the Universal Museum Joanneum. The Steirisches Jagdmuseum ('Styrian Hunting Museum') was opened in 2006. The interdisciplinary approach of this collection combines contemporary technology with historic equipment, weapons and specimens to explore the historical, sociological and anthropological, as well as the philosophical and ethical phenomena of the human practice of hunting in addition to wildlife ecology.

In 2009 the Landwirtschaftsmuseum Schloss Stainz ('Museum of Agriculture and Forestry') also opened, displaying collections of rural Styrian folk culture. The main focus of the exhibition is on the agricultural implements and the household effects of the Styrian countryside from the Stone Age to the present. The exhibition displays objects related to the different branches of agriculture and husbandry and offers a fitting companion to the Hunting Museum.

In addition to the two permanent exhibitions of the Joanneum, areas of the castle, for example the courtyard, the cellar, the arcades and the terrace, are also rented out for private events.



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Schloßplatz 3, Stainz, Austria
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Founded: 1229
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Austria

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gueorgui Slavov (7 months ago)
A nice little gem. Off the beaten path, yet not that far from Graz. The museums specialize in local hunting and farming history, so don't expect trophies of lions and tigers. But what they have is presented with taste and imagination, with some impressive installations - like several stuffed foxes arranged to show the stages of a jump on prey, or the room with over 120 specimens where an animal call is played and then a spotlight shines on the animal itself. Or the room where you can see track casts of a bird or animal and then read the description and touch the feathers or fur. Of course, they have a decent collection of old firearms, hunting accessories and other hunting-related items (like a chair with deer antlers instead of legs and armrests). The agriculture museum is more modest, but it does contain a room that shows how local produce finds its way into everyday products (some of which may surprise you). Also scale models of agricultural mechanization through the centuries. The staff are super-friendly and helpful, and speak several languages. Ask them about the soap-opera-worthy story of the most famous owner of the castle (in May 2024 they will open a dedicated exhibition about him); about the Prince that loved his hunting dogs so much (much more than his human servants) that he paid to have every single one of them immortalized in large paintings (on loan from other collections). Oh, and why a hunting gun may need a chimney; or how many times one had to pump for a single shot from an antique air gun (that rivaled early black powder arms in terms of firepower)! Just note that the museums are closed on Mondays and from December through March (learned that the hard way the first time I tried to visit). Come for the museums, stay for the hiking - several designated hiking paths seem to be converging there.
Oliver Finker (2 years ago)
We went there mainly because we wanted to see the castle building itself. There's no castle tour but two museums inside - the Jagdmuseum (dedicated to hunting) and the Landwirtschaftsmuseum (dedicated to farming). Both museums are excellent and have well thought out displays and descriptions. For example, there's a room full of stuffed animals and every 20 seconds or so, you can hear the sounds of a different animal and you can guess, which animal it was. A spotlight then illuminates the correct animal. The building itself is still beautiful and renovated well, the rooms still have the stucco on the ceilings - and there's also a great church connected to it that is well worth the visit. We enjoyed our trip there, both for what was visible of castle and church, as well as for the museums. There were plenty of car parking slots available.
valter alliu (3 years ago)
Mikhail Pergament (3 years ago)
Interesting place, with a lot to see.
Philipp Leindl (5 years ago)
nicely curated museum about the history and practice of hunting and agriculture; all content is presented in German and English, making it suitable for international visitors as well; the museum also features striking artwork that is presented in the context of hunting and analysed through that lens; the museum itself is an architecturally interesting building due to its Baroque style (including a wonderful Baroque church) with a location that offers great views of the region
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