Austrian Castles
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Schloss Schoenbrunn, Vienna 

Schloss_Schoenbrunn.jpg (77042 bytes)

Upper and Lower Belvedere, Vienna.

Upper and lower Belvedere.jpg (64303 bytes)

Upper Belvedere

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Entrance Hall Upper Belvedere

Entrance_Hall_Upper_Belvedere.jpg (51107 bytes)

Staircase, Upper Belvedere

Staircase_Upper_Belvedere.jpg (46650 bytes)

Greater Marble Hall, Upper Belvedere

Great_Mrble_Hall_Upper_Belvedere.jpg (49793 bytes)

Lower Belvedere

Lower_Belvedere.jpg (55770 bytes)

Schloss Riegersburg, (1427) Baroque Castle, Hardegg, Lower Austria

Riegersburg Nord Oesterreich.jpg (59805 bytes)

Schloss Marschegg (1733),  Lower Austria

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Schloss Marchegg1.jpg (48486 bytes)

Schloss Niederweiden. Lower Austria

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Schloss Schlosshof, Lower Austria

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Schloss Halbturn, (1711) Burgenland

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Burg Schlaining (1271), Burgenland

schlaining.jpg (45027 bytes)

Schloss  Esterházy (1648), Eisenstadt, Burgenland

Esterhazy.jpg (37341 bytes)

Schloss Riegersburg (1100 AD), Styria

An impressive landmark of Eastern Styria, this monumental fortress towers on to top of a volcanic rock. The oldest castle complex was built around 1100 A.D.  The defense walls extend more than 3 kilometers.   11 bastions and 7 gate houses surround the 15 hectares on the large rocky plateau, rendering the citadel impregnable. It has been privately owned by the Liechtensteins since 1822. Today, 2 exhibitions are housed in 108 rooms of the fortress: The entire first floor, including the state rooms, are devoted to the 900 year old history of the princely Liechtenstein family.  

Riegersburg from the front.

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Riegersburg from the back.  You can see the path going up the back  in this picture too.

Riegersburg View From the back.jpg (104315 bytes)

If you look closely at the left side of the picture, you can see the emergency exit snaking down the mountain at the back of the Riegersburg.  It was quite a hike to get to the back entrance.  It was commonly referred to as the "Mules Path"  You can see why in the following pictures.

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The mule path looking at it from the top down

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The mules path looking at it from bottom up 

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Hochosterwitz, (1209) Carynthia

"Hochosterwitz was first mentioned in documents around  860. In the year of 1209 the Spanheims Hochosterwitz.jpg (94245 bytes)bestowed upon the family of Osterwitz the hereditary office of the cup-bearer. The last cup-bearer of Osterwitz was captured during a Turkish invasion and died in prison, without leaving any descendants. 

Schloss Hochosterwitz dates back to the sovereign, Emperor Frederic III. and King Ferdinand I. who pawned Osterwitz of to the governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1570 Baron George Khevenhüller, acquired the citadel by purchase.  In 1570-1586 he  heavily fortifying the castle against the invading Turks, and  provided it with an armory.  He also had the 14 gates built to defend the access road.  Such a fortress-road, secured on so many sites, cannot not only be counted among the greatest rarities, but it also represents a uniqueness  in citadel- construction. According to a historical document,  each gate has its own name. 

Henceforth,  no essential changes have taken place to the building. To the present day, the fortress has been continually owned by the Khevenhüller.  A disposition left by the builder George Khevenhüller dating from the year 1576, which can be read on a marble slate in the yard, expresses the wish to keep the citadel in the possession of the descendants, and who should always care for it.  This wish has always remained a holy legacy for the family Khevenhüller."

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