Wagrain Castle was first mentioned in 1135. From 1447 on, it belonged to the Engl family of Steyr. In 1499, the property was raised to a noble estate by Emperor Maximilian I. Except for a religiously motivated break in 1620, the castle and its estate remained with the Engl family until the early 20th century. In 1717 the Engls were raised to Counts. With the death of Count Siegmund Engl in 1911, the male line became extinct. His daughter wedded a Count von Spiegelfeld. In 1950, the Spiegelfeld family sold the castle to the town of Vöcklabruck. Since then, it has been used as a school and for cultural purposes.
The present castle consist of two of the formerly four round towers, a main building and two side wings. Two of the original towers were demolished during an expansion in the 18th century. Thereby the gateway tower was completely erased. In 1980, the household building east of the castle was torn down to be replaced by a workshop. By the erection of an annex building in 2000, the previously U-shaped facility was completely enclosed and a courtyard was created. The annex is a modern reinforced concrete construction with a flat roof. Its courtward side is entirely made up of glass.
The two-storey old part features a hip roof and a mansard gable. On the gable's southern front, the coat of arms of the Engl family is engraved with its motto: '1448 Fürchte Gott, Tue Recht, Scheue Niemand 1848 (Fear God, Act Just, Eschew None)'. The arcades of the supplementary buildings have meanwhile been glazed. Today it Wagrain castle hosts Bundesrealgymnasium Vöcklabruck (High School). Due to the school, the site can only be inspected from outside.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.