Top 15 Pretty Castles in Austria to Visit
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Austria is literally filled with serene views of castles and mountains. They are beautiful, imposing, and usually impregnable and undefeatable. There are, indeed, some of the castles built so excellently that invaders couldn’t even take possession of them, except starving occupants inside until they surrender.
These castles in Austria are excellent and they really look as if they are inspired by the fairy tale. Usually, they sat on the highest hills in the region, so soldiers can easily monitor the valleys and prevent approaching invaders. These castles are nestled in lush green forests, and they truly stand out as they are made of light-colored or white stone and they are so huge that they can be spotted from miles away.
There are dozens of castles in Austria. When most of them are positioned in Lower Austria, visitors are more willing to visit one whenever they plan to enter this Alpine nation.
Most of the castles in Vienna were built with the order of Catholic archbishops in the medieval era as their defense mechanism was so strong that it makes them look more like fortresses against invaders. Most of these castles were owned by many rulers, according to the invader of the month, before being the state ownership. Some castles are still held private these days.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Where to stay in Austria?
- 2 Short in time? Go sightseeing in Austria on tour!
- 3 List of Castles to visit in Austria
- 3.1 Moosham Castle
- 3.2 Burg Rappottenstein
- 3.3 Riegersburg Castle
- 3.4 Hochosterwitz Castle
- 3.5 Heinfels Castle
- 3.6 Aggstein Castle
- 3.7 Hohensalzburg Castle
- 3.8 Rosenburg Castle
- 3.9 Liechtenstein Castle
- 3.10 Burg Mauterndorf
- 3.11 Gallenstein Castle
- 3.12 Burg Neuhaus
- 3.13 Kreuzenstein Castle
- 3.14 Burg Clam
- 3.15 Hohenwerfen Castle
- 4 Other destinations to visit in Europe
- 5 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Where to stay in Austria?
Short in time? Go sightseeing in Austria on tour!
List of Castles to visit in Austria
Do you believe in witchcraft or ghostly encounters? You will definitely love to visit Moosham Castle. It is believed to be one of the most haunted castles in Europe.
Legends had it that hundreds of witches were beheaded here and thousands of them were accused of being witches. Some witches and werewolves are believed to haunt this castle, dating back to the 11th century. The Salzburg Fortress is currently a museum and is also known as the Witches Castle.
Built to protect the region against Bohemian invaders, Burg Rappottenstein is truly an imposing fortress sits atop a rock above Little Kamp Valley, Lower Austria. You can find complex fortifications in this Romanesque castle with six gateways and five towers.
In this castle, Renaissance and Gothic structures were added, and it is built on multiple levels. You can find the 16th-century court life frescoes in the archive and great hall.
Riegersburg Castle has a unique feature among several Austrian castles as it is very closely recognized with more power among women than men, though the keep was built by a knight atop a dormant volcano in the 12th century. It was owned by a baroness in the 17th century, expanding its rooms to 108 along with 5 gates. One can reach the castle via a steep road along the forest.
Riegersburg is a medieval fortress located on a dormant volcano above Riegersburg town in the Styria state of Austria. The owner of the castle is the Princely Family of Liechtenstein, and it has a museum with different exhibitions. It is located atop 450m.
The castle was built atop a hill which was once a volcano. To be clear, it is petrified ruins of the solid molten interior and a volcanic neck of a stratovolcano which became extinct probably 2 or more million years back, like other hills in the north-central part of Europe. The peak is located at 482m above sea level. The ancient basalt was used from the hill to build this castle.
Hochosterwitz Castle is really a worth to be seen in a lifetime. Sitting over a limestone rock in Carinthia state, the castle has uninterrupted views of the terrain. On a clear day, you can spot the castle miles away. It is known to be one of the most amazing and famous castle in Austria.
Visitors have to pass through 14 gates to enter this 9th-century castle when it is open to the public. This impressive castle in Austria is located on 172m high Dolomite rock situated around the east of Sankt Veit an der Glan town near Sankt Georgen am Längsee. It is one of the major landmarks of the state and a tourist attraction.
Previously known as Hunnenfels Castle, Heinfels Castle was reportedly built sometime in the 13th century. Heinfels Castle is a fortress located in Tyrol region and a fortress which was once invaded by soldiers who desired to overthrow the Catholic reign in Austria.
According to the legends, one can find the treasure in the underground corridor heading to the castle. Visitors can access only the outside of the castle as the interior is going through constant restoration.
Located high over the hill facing the Danube River, Aggstein Castle indeed appears like a fairy-tale castle where dashing prince rushes up to rescue the fair damsel. The castle was built in the 12th century and was destroyed and besieged by invaders a couple of times. It was last restored in the early 2000s and fell into despair a lot of times.
Located on the right bank of Danube, Aggstein is a ruined castle dated back to the 12th century, and it is located 480m above the sea level. The ruins of the castle are located around 300m above the bank of Danube River on outcrop from east to west. It is around 150m long and has a rocky structure on both sides. The remnants are positioned in the Schönbühel-Aggsbach municipality in the Melk district in Lower Austria.
As compared to Hohensalzburg Castle, other castles pale here, and it is known as the biggest fortress of Europe and is probably the most serene sitting on a hill facing the Salzburg city.
The castle survived as well as it has never been invaded. The exterior of the castle looked a lot like when it was originally built in the 11th century. This castle doubles as an event venue and concert hall today.
Rosenburg Castle has become a Renaissance castle from a medieval fortress in Lower Austria. This 12th-century castle was once a Romanesque castle. The well-uniformed staff put on ancient tournaments for visitors and works with falcons today.
It is a castle ruin located towards the west of Herisau municipality in the Appenzell Ausserrhoden canton of Switzerland. This heritage site of Switzerland has great national significance. It is situated on the Remsenstock and is, hence, known as Ramsenburg.
The entryway to the tower is positioned around 4.4m above the ground. The ruins of the main castle dated back to the 13th to the 14th century are located on the west of the tower.
It is a castle located in Lower Austria near Maria Enzersdorf on the Vienna border. It is located on the edge of Viennese Forest of Wienerwald. Originally built in the 12th century, the castle was diminished by the Ottomans in the year 1529 to 1683, and it has been in ruins until the year 1884 when it was reconstructed.
Liechtenstein Castle is named after Liechtenstein family which has ruled the country of the same name. The family had owned the castle from 1140 until the 13th century and later from 1807 onwards. The castle has been privately owned and known for hosting Nestroy Theatre Festival held every year during summer months.
The villa had also been the shooting location for the famous Hollywood classics like “A Walk with Love and Death (1969)”, “The Vampire Happening (1971)”, “The Three Musketeers (1993)” and “The Fifth Musketeer (1979)”.
Located in the bucolic landscape, the castle of Mauterndorf hosts a 3-story imposing defense tower, even though it was built originally as a taxation and toll office in the 13th century. It is well covered by two ring walls which kept travelers from strolling through without paying toll taxes. The chapel is now the property of Salzburg Province and is well regarded for 14th-century frescoes.
Located in the north of Gesäuse, the Gallenstein castle is one of the must-see tourist attractions of the region. This 13th-century old castle has been the talk of the town for many years. Don’t confuse it as a secluded, quiet Austrian palace, especially not in summer, when artists and musicians across the world visit here.
Founded in the year 1278, the Gallenstein Castle had never been conquered. The reconstruction of the castle was started in 1950 the Styrian fortress started to recover itself to its lost glory.
St. Gallen castle was already home to towering rocks by the 13th century. The Admont’s Benedictine monks fled to the castle when the abbey was no longer safe to them to live in the era of war.
These days, the castle is known to be a reputed destination for excursions. It also houses the reputed festival held over there once in a year. It has been the attraction for cultural lovers from far and near.
Neuhaus castle is virtually invisible from the lower part of the valley, and only the tower of the castle stands out. It was initially mentioned in the 13th century, and it was possibly built as border fortress as a shelter for the Counts of Tyrol from Counts of Bolzano. Located between the forest and fields, near the Ehrstadt village, the Neuhaus Castle is among the several serene estates in Baden Wurttemberg.
Once a formally uninviting complex, Burg Neuhaus today presents the architectural unity due to the varying tastes and styles of its owners throughout the centuries. Graf Eberhard von Wurttemberg transferred ownership of the castle in 1333 to Berthold von Gemmingen-Massenbach, who, along with old structure, built another edifice. Ebenhard von Gemminggen, his decedent, took Newenhaus’s family name.
In 1977, the castle had gone through extensive restoration and brought back the serene splendor it now holds and becomes one of the most impressive private castles for special occasions in Southern Germany.
This noble estate of Michael Freiherr von Gemmingen family is now rented for special events and weddings. It can accommodate around 160 guests to dine and celebrate and approximately 80 people to sleep in one of several bedrooms in its compound. It enables all the guests to celebrate and relax without any problem.
The best part is that visitors are treated as the owners of the castle during their stay.
The Kreuzenstein Castle is positioned on a wooded hilltop facing the Leobendorf village around Vienna. Actually, the existing structure is an architectural fantasy dating back to the 19th century built of sections of ancient structures from different parts of Europe. Covering the site of a damaged ruin, the colossal structure was developed by Count Nepomuk Wilczek from 1879 to 1908 to have his late Gothic art collection and armor.
Burg Clam is well recognized as a family home to the Counts of Clam for over 550 years. The castle was originally built by Otto von Machland in 1149 who owned the whole Upper Austria. It was previously a fortress having two towers standing around 30m high. These two beautiful complexes – one rectangular and one round compound – still exist in the same shape these days.
Soon after the death of Otto von Machland, the castle was ruled by the robber barons. They were scared by individuals of Upper Austrian people and expelled by the church. The construction and ownership of the castle changed a lot of times during the Middle Ages until in 1454 when forefathers of Clam’s counts arrived.
During 30 years of war, the Clam family had their official army to protect the castle. In the period of revolts and turmoil, the village of Clam faced a lot of troubles, and it was burned down a lot of times. Clam was attacked a lot of times, but the castle still remained without capture by any hostile troops. But the fortress reached its extremely worst condition by the mid 17th century when the war was finally over.
Facing the Austrian Alps, the Hohenwerfen Castle stands proudly out in the green forests, and this beautiful white structure is well covered by the serene surrounding. Located around 25 miles south of Salzburg in Werfen, the 11th-century old Hohenwerfen Castle was built to prevent invaders from attacking the Archbishopric of Salzburg.
It has also been a hunting lodge, residence, police academy, and a prison. It appeared familiar and was the shooting spot for The Sound of Music when children used to sing the famous song “Do Re Mi.”
Other destinations to visit in Europe
Portugal, France, Andorra, Spain, Greece, Italy, Malta, Gibraltar, Monaco, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, The Netherlands, The UK, Ireland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia an Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Armenia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Macedonia.
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