Burgruine Starhemberg

Burgruine Starhemberg
Lower Austria, Austria

Copper engraving by Georg Matthäus Vischer, 1672
Coordinates 47°52′03″N 16°06′07″E / 47.8675°N 16.1019444444°E / 47.8675; 16.1019444444Coordinates: 47°52′03″N 16°06′07″E / 47.8675°N 16.1019444444°E / 47.8675; 16.1019444444
Type Castle
Site information
Open to
the public
Not since 2007
Condition Ruins
Site history
Built 1140–45
Built by Ottokar III, Margrave of Styria

Burgruine Starhemberg is a castle in Lower Austria, Austria. Burgruine Starhemberg is 520 metres (1,710 ft) above sea level.[1]


The name is derived from the original name of 'high mountain' or 'Starkenberg'.

A small castle was built here by Ottokar III, Margrave of Styria between 1140 and 1145. At the time, the Piesting river was the border between Styria and the March of Austria. In 1192, Styria—and, thus, the castle—was acquired by the Babenbergs. The last Babenberger duke of Austria, Frederick II the Warlike, expanded and fortified the castle, leaving Starhemberg as one of the most important castles in Lower Austria in the 13th century. In wartime, the archives and the family treasure was hidden here, and were guarded by the Teutonic Knights.

After the Battle on the Marchfeld in 1278, the castle was acquired by the Habsburgs. In 1482, the castle was captured by Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary. In 1683, the castle offered protection from the Turks to the surrounding population.

To escape a new roof-tax the counts of Heusenstamm around 1800 had the roof covering removed, as well as doors and window frames, beginning the decline of the castle. Around 1870, a large part of the great hall collapsed. Until the mid-20th century, the ruins were used for the extraction of construction materials by the local population.

In the spring of 1945 a unit of the Waffen-SS used the ruined tower above the chapel as an observation post. Russian artillery fire inflicted heavy damage to the walls.

In the second half of the 20th century a local organisation, Friends of the Castle Starhemberg, has sought to restore the ruins. Since 2007, the castle has been closed to visitors, for security.

See also


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