We have visited numerous castles in Austria that let’s visitors inside. Here are 5 of the best-preserved castles open to the public, which gives you a small insight into what life was like in a castle in the Middle Ages.
Austria has many impressive castles that are open to the public. We love visiting castles that have retained at least some originality and that have period furniture and decorations. The best-preserved castles can offer a small insight into what life was like at the castle throughout history. Many of the excursions are very well done and are brought to life by skilled guides. Many castles have been lived in for hundreds of years and have changed.
Nonetheless, some parts are usually left over from the original building and interior if the castle wasn’t damaged in war or fires. Many castles have also been painstakingly restored to their former glory and have kept their rich history intact. In addition to the architecture, you can see priceless original furniture, frescoes and art. Check out at least one of these five castles when you visit Austria.
1. Tratzberg Castle
The privately owned castle you see today originates from 1553 as the original fortress was destroyed by fire in the 1490s. Step inside the palace and enter the Renaissance. We enjoyed a very informative tour of one of the best-preserved castles in Tirol, near the state capital, Innsbruck.
Tratzberg Castle has overlooked the Inn Valley since the 13th century from its perfect hillside location, less than a kilometre from the river Inn. After Tyrol’s independency from the Duchy of Bavaria in the 12th century, the local noblemen needed strongholds to defend their newly acquired freedom. Thus, a fortress was constructed at a strategic […]
2. Riegersburg Castle
This castle is owned by the Princely Family of Principality Liechtenstein, who bought it in 1822. You can visit 25 of the castle’s 108 rooms by yourself, which are open to visitors.
From whatever direction you arrive, the Riegersburg Castle firmly stands out sitting on top of a volcanic peak 480 metres above sea level. Don’t worry the volcano has been extinct for a couple of million years. If you love castles and the Middle Age this one is a must-visit. Location, location, location The knights of […]
3. Schattenburg Castle
Even though it was destroyed and rebuilt several times, Schattenburg is one of Austria’s best-preserved medieval castles. It is easily accessible as it is situated in the centre of the town, Feldkirch. You can walk alone or take a guided tour, which we recommend.
Any historical town with respect for itself should have a castle, and Feldkirch has the Schattenburg. Although there has been documented a settlement on-site for more than 2000 years, the “town” Feldkirch was built together with the castle in the early 13th century. We found the Schattenburg well worth the entrance fee and learned a […]
4. Strechau Castle
The construction of a castle started on the ridge in about 1036 to control a road through the mountains that had been here since the Romans. You can visit parts of the castle on a tour, that includes access to the southern bastion with a spectacular view of Paltental (Palten Valley), where the A9 motorway runs.
If you are travelling on the A9 motorway from the south toward Voralpenkreuz (A1) near Rottenmann, you cannot miss the castle at the top of the cliff. The red and white painted window shutters, defence walls and towers fit well as a movie backdrop in a Hollywood movie. The castle Major had not seen acts […]
5. Mauterndorf Castle
The village Mauterndorf in Lungau, Salzbugerland, has not only one of the most impressive castles in Austria but also one of the best-preserved. If you speak German, I recommend you join the tour. If not, an audio guide in 13 languages is available. You can enjoy numerous playfully designed stations and re-created scenes throughout the castle.
The castle in Mauterndorf is not to be overlooked as it is located on a mountain cliff at the edge of the village. The site has been fortified since 326 A.D., guarding the Roman trade route crossing the Tauern mountain pass. However, the castle itself is first mentioned in written records from 1253. The castle […]
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