This well-preserved medieval castle towers over the town of Feldkirch in Vorarlberg. We recommend a tour of the castle’s museum before exploring lovely historic Feldkirch.
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 lot about life in the Middle Age’s in a region. Hence, let’s have a quick look at what the castle has experienced throughout the centuries.
Occupied by the Swedes
Schattenburg is one of Austria’s best-preserved medieval castles. In the 15th century, the castle was involved in several wars. Moreover, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. In 1647, the town Feldkirch and the Schattenburg were occupied by Swedish troops, who participated in the Thirty Years’ War and fought against French forces in the area. The Swedes did fare nicely with their foes’ and demanded not only war reparations but also that the local inhabitants maintain the castle. However, in 1648 the war was over and the Swedes went home.
Barracks and poorhouse
In the 18th century, mediaeval castles had largely outplayed their function as both residences of the noble and as military installations, and many were abandoned. There are more ruins of castles in Austria than there are well-preserved ones. Fortunately, Schattenburg was rescued from ruin and taken over by the town of Feldkirch in 1825. Before the castle was finally converted into a museum and historic building, it served as military barracks and poorhouse during the 1800s. Today Schattenburg houses far more peaceful and less sinister tenants, a museum and a restaurant.
We visited the castle one morning during the week, and apart from a children’s school class, we had the place to ourselves. You don’t have to be super interested in medieval history to enjoy a tour around the castle and museum for an hour or two. Moreover, most of the museum is devoted to life at the castle over the last centuries. Moreover, a great deal of the interior is still original. We also enjoyed the exhibitions that do not have a direct connection with the castle itself, such as a “lock museum” and a large collection of weapons. Furthermore, some of the exhibits present the local history of the region as well. There are also activities specially designed for children.
Located just 38 km from Bregenz, or 60 km from Lech am Arlberg, Schattenburg is well-suited for a day trip. In addition to visiting the castle you should also take a tour around the beautiful old town of Feldkirch, which is only a few minutes’ walk from the castle. In the castle you will also find a restaurant.
The first stop on my winter tour through Austria by train was Zillertal, Tyrol. After a few days in wonderful Vienna I was looking forward to hitting the slopes. Late February the winter had taken a firm hold on the Austrian Alps and there was snow in abundance. Chilly but great fun The skiing conditions […]
COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR AUSTRIA Check out these links the latest travel advice for Austria. Remember that COVID-19 regulations and restrictions change frequently, and you should therefore check different sites for updated information. Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs Austrian National Tourist Office Vienna Airport As Austria is a federal republic, local COVID-19 regulations and […]
Hiking in wine regions has become popular in Austria. Lots of people enjoy the rolling hills and soft landscape as a contrast to the fantastic opportunities for alpine hiking in the Alps. We therefore ventured out on a 5.8 km (3.6 mi) long hike in the southern Styria, through vineyards, forest groves and open farm […]
A list of suggestions on what to do in a weekend in Vienna could easily have been almost endless. Notwithstanding, we have collected a few places and sights in Vienna to show you the variety available. Moreover, our recommendations should be suitable for most people, not matter age. Our suggestions are not mere tourist traps, […]