Full of culture and light, Austria is one of the most stunning countries in Europe, and we could even say in the world! What else can explain the vast flow of tourists? Apart from museums, operas, and striking art galleries, it is also home to some magnificent castles. So, if you are on your way to see Austria, check our list of the top 5 courts you should visit!
1. Hohensalzburg Fortress
A castle with a mighty name, Hohensalzburg Fortress, is the most prominent one in Salzburg and one of the top choices for your Austrian trip.
High above the rooftops of the historical Baroque district, Hohensalzburg is the biggest fully preserved castle in Central Europe, offering fulfilling tours and a magical view of the city.
Since its opening in the 11th century, its primary purpose has been to protect the principality and the archbishops from hostile attacks. They were obviously very successful since the fortress remained unattacked and unpenetrated for ten centuries! Now, it is home to several museums.
The Fortress Museum is one of the historical exhibitions and life led by the archbishops, while the Marionette Museum and the Museum of the Rainer Regiment invite visitors to glimpse at the general livelihood and features of the past.
2. Schonbrunn Palace
After the ferocious Hohensalzburg, jump on the Salzburg to Vienna train to see the following gem of Austria!
Schonbrunn is mainly known for its historical importance of being the principal summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. However, it is one of the most important cultural, historical, and architectural monuments in the country. This Rococo palace has been compared to the French Versailles on many occasions due to its salient designs and luxurious surroundings.
Schonbrunn is more than just that, though. There are plenty of attractions within, such as gorgeous staterooms, a vast zoo, a Carriage Museum, a Children’s Museum, gardens, fountains, and mazes.
3. Hochosterwitz Castle
One of the most impressive medieval castles in Austria, Hochosterwitz is the state’s landmark yet somehow remains a hidden gem. Despite being settled in Southern Bavaria, it is somehow overlooked by tourists. So, do not make the same mistake!
First mentioned in the 800s, it was a refuge for the local population during the Turkish invasion in the 11th and 12th centuries. So, naturally, the castle is highly significant to the Austrians, but it is not only the historical importance that draws people to visit.
Situated on a rock high above the ground, Hochosterwitz is stunning in its design, starting with the passage of a total of 14 gates, standing proud and prominent. The castle mountain was inhabited since the Bronze Age, and there are clear imprints showing off its age, not to mention the castle’s outwards and inwards Medieval motifs.
4. Liechtenstein Castle
Initially built in 1130 as a tribute for the Prince of Lichtenstein, the castle was in service of the royal seat for over 200 years. Since then, it has overcome many changes and installments, resulting in it being one of the best-preserved castles in Austria, in an almost-perfect condition and very enjoyable to visit!
A day trip away from Vienna, Liechtenstein is one of the only privately owned castles in the country. Yet, it allows tourists to explore and enjoy thorough excursions learning about its history and development.
Additionally, Liechtenstein Castle offers extremely cool private tours if you want to enjoy its mightiness with an intimate group of friends or family. It costs surprisingly adequate and includes such fun activities as wine tasting and night touring! So, collect your friends and book in advance!
5. Mauterndorf Castle
Last but not least, let’s travel once again to Salzburg to see the beauty of the ferocious Mauterndorf. Established by the Romans in 326 AD, Mauterndorf’s primary purpose was to protect Radstadter Tauern Pass, a road going South from Salzburg to the capital of Teurnia, settled in the Alps on the way to Italy.
Since the late mid-nineties, the castle was owned by the state of Salzburg and has now become a site of culture, history, and even entertainment! Aside from the museum established in 2003, Mauterndorf also houses a local restaurant and catering services. It is also used for conferences, panels, and venues for numerous cultural events. Do not miss out on the opportunity to visit!
There you have it! Five grand, unique, and stunning fortresses to see and explore. Tour the surroundings and order guided trips to get to know Austria in-depth.
Keep in mind that you might need to book tickets in advance, so do a bit of research before going. Good luck, and happy castle-hunting!