Mittersill Castle

Mittersill, Austria

The area surrounding the Mittersill Castle have been settled since at least the last 4000 years, but the significance of the castle in trans-alpine traffic became especially important between the 10th to 14th centuries.

The first records known of the castle date to the 12th century while Pinzgau was under the control of the Duchy of Bavaria, when the Counts of Lechsgemünd decided to establish their family seat there. The site had been chosen on the northern side of the Salzach river because of its ideal location in not only being able to control merchant traffic from Pass Thurn but also that exiting from the southern Felber valley. The castle itself was built in a horseshoe-shape, with an opening to the east and a defensive wall to the south.

In 1228 the fiefdom of Pinzgau came under the control of the Archbishopric of Salzburg and the castle was made the seat of the Archbishops in Upper Pinzgau, and was used as a regional court for almost the next 600 years, including witch trials in Pinzgau, that started in the 16th century and continued into the 18th century. In 1816 after the Napoleonic Wars the Regional Court was transformed into a k. u. k. District Court, and despite the abolition of the Archbishopric of Salzburg in 1806, clergy continued to reside in the castle until as late as 1850.

During the German German Peasants' War of 1525-1526 the castle was plundered and burnt to the ground. Rebuilding of the castle started in 1537 at a cost of 2500 Guilder to give it the appearance that it bears today, with later rebuilding work in the 16th century made after further smaller fires in 1555 and 1597. Though the castle was rebuilt to incorporate already existing structural elements, it was enhanced by newer defensive technologies and more modern comforts. So it was that the west side was strengthened through addition of its two characteristic turrets. In the southern one, the so-called “Witches’ Tower”, a castle chapel was created on the upper floor.

In 1880 the castle was auctioned off, for a price of 4000 Guilder to grain merchant Anton Hahn who himself sold the castle two years later to Countess Marie Larisch von Moennich who employed architect Carl Gangolf Kayser in making renovations to the building. Ownership changed several times in the years that followed, the appearance of its interior rooms changing with each passing resident. Mittersill Castle experienced a very glamorous period from 1935-67 under the leadership of Baron Hubert von Pantz. Notable guests during this period include Dutch Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, the Shah of Persia, Clark Gable, Henry Ford, Bob Hope and Aristotle Onassis. During this period the castle suffered further fire damage when in 1938 it was struck by lightning.

During the Nazi period the castle was used as a State Institute think-tank for Inner Asia and as a sub-department of the 'Ahnenerbe e.V.' (a Nazi German think tank for Intellectual Ancient History). For a short time the castle was used as an outer command base for the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, and some female prisoners were brought here.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Austria

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kat Polansky (14 days ago)
We had the pleasure of staying for a long weekend and it was incredible! The location itself is amazing down to every detail. Our room was perfectly clean, furnished in antiques and with an amazing view over the valley. The service is impeccable- special thanks to Francesca (reception & best bar keep) - from reception to the restaurant, everyone is super attentive, polite and professional. Every cent spent is worth it!
Alyona Murashova (34 days ago)
A week after coming back home we are still thinking about that great time we spent in this hotel. The view and the area around are like a fairy tale, with very friendly personnel, delicious food, and an overall very relaxing atmosphere. Also a ski resort is very close by, which was also very convenient. The swimming pool in the spa was warm, despite being an open one. Nothing to complain about, simply very enjoyable days at a great place. We will definitely come back.
David I (2 months ago)
Excellent four days at Schloß Mittersill, the staff were all very polite and efficient. The room was very spacious, comfortable and quiet. Food was of a very high standard, we would have preferred a salad bar during evening meal, but other than that food was super. A small fitness room, nice small outdoor pool, lovely spa area.
Benjamin Moser (4 months ago)
The food was sensational - what an amazing kitchen team. The service and staff was extremely friendly, forthcoming, welcoming and attentive. Far beyond average. I can't wait to visit again.
Amina Radzhabova (9 months ago)
Amazing location, super good facilities and exceptional service. They turned our honeymoon into an unforgettable experience. Special thanks to Lisa at the reception and Dori in the restaurant. Extended thank you to the entire team for taking care of us and turning our stay into fairytale.
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