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Burg Strechau – Renaissance Castle & vintage cars

© by Boesch Privatstiftung

Well-preserved Burg Strechau in Styria gives you a glimpse into the life at the medieval castle and also offers a perfect break if you are on your way through Austria on the A9.

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 of war, except during the Napoleonic wars when Strechau was occupied three times by the French and temporarily used as a field hospital.

A Peek into Life during the Renaissance

The elongated castle, which clings to a narrow, steep cliff, is the second largest in Styria. First mentioned in the 12th century and converted into a Renaissance palace in the 16th century, Burg Strechau is an impressive sight. Until 1629 the castle changed owners countless times, with different noble families coming and going. The castle, or rather a palace, was inhabited until 1848. Today Burg Strechau is open for visitors. On an hour-long tour, you can see part of the castle’s interior, including furnished rooms, lavishly decorated banquet halls, chapels, and bastions.

< Click on the images to enlarge >

Stunning interior

Countless owners, from noble families to the Archbishop of Salzburg, to the private foundation Boesch, the current owner, have managed to maintain the castle and prevented it from becoming a ruin. The medieval castle was given multiple revitalizations from 1629 until 1892, when it belonged to the monastery Stift Admont (only 30 km away). The castle church was built, the Italian-style archways in the courtyard, and many roof paintings (frescos) were added. The well-preserved former fortress offers a glimpse into the Renaissance, displaying wonderfully decorated rooms and historic furniture.

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Impressive frescos

As we entered the castle’s main building, the first thing that met us was the Italian-inspired archways in the courtyard. Furthermore, one of the sights during the tour was the imperial room, which is furnished. The baroque door to the imperial room dates from 1637. More impressive are perhaps the ceiling paintings in the banquet hall and the Protestant “prayer room”, which dates from the Reformation era. Moreover, the beautifully decorated castle chapel (Marienkapelle) has an altar from 1637 that you can admire during the tour. Last but not least, you have access to the bastion at the south end of the castle, which offers a stunning view of the surrounding valley (and the motorway).

Austrian car history

Burg Strechau also houses a car museum. Veteran car enthusiasts should not miss this exhibition. The collection shows a complete cross-section of the Steyr Works car production from 1920 – 1941. All the vehicles displayed are in mint condition, and many are still used on special occasions.

Burg Strechau also holds art exhibitions from time to time. Check their website for more info.

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Written by Ana Lucia Marcos

Ana Lucia has traveled the world, but fell completely in love with Austria. She loves the dramatic mountain landscape, the phototastiske lakes and the captivating castles. Moreover, a real Wienerschnitzel is always on the menu when she explores the alpine country.