Deutschlandsberg Castle is not just a stunning relict from the Middle Ages, but also a great place for a little journey through time.
Our first visit to Burg Deutschlandsberg was on a gray and cloudy day, which gave the castle a slightly scary appearance. This is probably the meaning of a castle anyway. We later visited the castle several times on lovely sunny summer days, when it showcases itself from a more welcoming side.
Hotel, restaurant, and museum
Deutschlandsberg Castle in southwestern Styria is well worth a visit or two as the castle offers more than just the fortifications themselves. The castle houses a restaurant in what was once the so-called knight’s hall, which is located on the outer wall. The restaurant also has a terrace with great views of the valley below and the small town of Deutschlandsberg. Around the castle, several vineyards make for a lovely view. Furthermore, there is a hotel in the part of the castle that was built in 1604. The finest suite is located at the top of the round tower. The castle is a popular place for wedding parties. Additionally, you find an archaeological and historical museum in the castle.
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Brilliant archeologic museum
The Archeo Norico Museum is located in the Gothic castle keep and the adjoining former residential wing. Although it does not look like this from the outside, the museum offers several quite extensive exhibitions, with more than 5000 objects from a period of almost 7000 years. You can study artifacts from ancient and Roman times, from the mythical Celts, an extensive weapons exhibition, 3000 years of glass production in Styria, and a life-like torture chamber in the basement. Regardless of the period of interest, you find plenty of fascinating and interesting objects on display, which provide deeper historical insights. Finally, through the museum, you also get access to the viewing platform at the top of the square castle tower.
A site with long history
Long before the medieval castle was built on the hill by the Lassnitz river has been in use. Remains have been found of buildings and fortifications dating back to 3900 BC. The origin of the castle you see today was built in the 1100s and was mentioned for the first time in documents from 1185. Since then the castle has been rebuilt several times before it got the look it has today in the late 1800s. From the 12th century and until 1803 Burg Deutschlandsberg was the administrative center for the lands in West Styria that belonged to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. The castle has not only been an administrative center but also seen combat. In 1532, the castle resisted attacks by the Turks (Ottoman Empire). Between 1820 and 1932, the castle belonged to the Principality of Liechtenstein (which today owns the medieval castle Riegersburg, only about 1 hour away by car).
The small town Deutschlandsberg
Deutschlandsberg with its 11,000 inhabitants at the foot of the castle is a pleasant place to stroll around for 1-2 hours. The main street, which also has the finest historic buildings consists of a mix of shops, banks, and restaurants. Deutschlandsberg has been a market town since 1280. Moreover, it is a good starting point for excursions to the mountains, as the road over the Weinebene mountain pass (the border between Styria and Carinthia) passes just outside the city.
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