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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Details

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

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Daria Zvjaginceva (8 months ago)
Great place with the best view from spa, where I have ever been. Really friendly and helpful staff. Interesting interior
Waqas Mumtaz (8 months ago)
Location is nice but on website you see that there will be a view to the mountains, but you dine in a backyard without any view. We booked dinner for two, which was expensive but did not fully meet our expectations. It was a 4 course menu. For me, starter had not much taste, cauliflower soup was nice, main dish was fish which was cooked without skin (more like boiled) and missed herbs and raw celery as topping on it. For me it was odd taste plus I feel that fish is best served with the skin. The rice and tomatoes felt as if they were cooked separately and mixed together before serving. The dessert was a mixed cheese plate which was average (like any other). My wife was happy with her main dish which was calf meat with root vegetables and also her dessert was very good with blueberry variations. All in all, it was okay with average but expensive food.
Waqas Syed (8 months ago)
Location is nice but on website you see that there will be a view to the mountains, but you dine in a backyard without any view. We booked dinner for two, which was expensive but did not fully meet our expectations. It was a 4 course menu. For me, starter had not much taste, cauliflower soup was nice, main dish was fish which was cooked without skin (more like boiled) and missed herbs and raw celery as topping on it. For me it was odd taste plus I feel that fish is best served with the skin. The rice and tomatoes felt as if they were cooked separately and mixed together before serving. The dessert was a mixed cheese plate which was average (like any other). My wife was happy with her main dish which was calf meat with root vegetables and also her dessert was very good with blueberry variations. All in all, it was okay with average but expensive food.
Natalija Gorinsek (8 months ago)
The location was great but the service was just terrible. The food is overpriced and its not even so good. And youre still hungry after it cuz the portions are really small. The waiters are rude and unproffesional. A
Nejc Ravnjak (8 months ago)
In short the location is great but the food is not worth the price. The location is really great. It is a castle on the top of the hill. The room was big but there where quite some spiders. The pool is mostly an outdoor pool and the size is quite small. The fitness is also on the smaller size. In summer on Sunny days there are some possibilities to go for a hike or chilling on the pool (as said if not too many guests decide to do the same). But on rainy days it is not so much to do. The tipping point for the low review is the lack of information as we where shown the room and where the spa is but no other information. After finding the lunch/breakfast location we had to search for a waiter to get seated. The menu is based from 3 daily menus and it is really expensive (i suggest to book a meal ahead as it will cost less). If not pre-booked everything will be charged (tap water is 2€ and you have unlimited in room from tap, adult meal minimum is 15€ --> kids menu for adults as double the price. Sadly for the money i staied hungry and after checking both meals would be prepared home for 3€ and in any other location under 10€. At breakfast (i had it in price) i ordered two things (same as at the Maldives i was not long ago --> same size) and the waiter was providing a comment if i am so hungry i need two --> also from two orders prepared halve as good as at home (eggs not mixed well and Pancakes where palachinken --> was ordering/checking the German wording) i was still hungry) Also as it was preparing for a Storm we decided to go a day early. We packed really early (before the checkout time) and they still charged the full price (also the add on for dog). At the time of pay watch out as i had it paid in front and they still wanted to charge full price at first. After i said i already payed they checked and wanted to charge the the full room even they shifted me to lower room with coupons. After me again informing them about the situation they checked it again and i didn't need to pay extra. For me the location was worth all stars but all other experience was sadly the reason i am able to put the maximum of 2 stars.
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