The imperial country of Austria is rich in history. The mountains are filled with stunning sights of enchanting, impressive, impregnable castles. Indeed, they reflect the history of Austria more than books could.
The undefeatable castles stand strong and proud up to this day, and they’re very good at telling the story of the country’s past. If you’re thinking about visiting Austria, a trip to its most stunning castles should be on your bucket list.
The country has dozens and dozens of wonderful castles scattered throughout. Most of the castles were ordered built by Catholic archbishops in Medieval times. They serve as a fortress — a defense mechanism — against invaders.
The castles are so massive that they can be seen from miles away. Below are 10 of the most beautiful castles in Austria.
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1. Burg Rappottenstein
The castle of Burg Rappottenstein was built 2,241 feet above sea level and is perched perfectly above the Little Kamp Valley (in Lower Austria). This imposing structure appears more like a fortress than a castle. The castle protected the area from the Bohemians.
The picturesque castle boasts complex structural design, has six gateways, and five towers. It also has Gothic and Renaissance structure. There you will find frescoes about court life displayed in the archive and the great hall.
2. Aggstein Castle
The captivating Aggstein Castle sits atop a hill, which offers a breathtaking overlooking view of the Danube River. Looking at the dreamy castle, it reminisces castles that are in fairy tale movies, where a handsome prince dashes off to save the fair damsel.
This Danube castle was built in the 12th century. Over the years, it has been besieged and annihilated by invaders. In 1181, it became a possession of the Kuenring family of Aggsbach-Gansbach.
Today, 55,000 tourists from different places visit the ruins of Aggstein annually. The Aggstein Castle is considered one of the most visited tourist attractions in Lower Austria.
3. Hochosterwitz Castle
Considered as one of Austria’s most impressive medieval castles, the Hochosterwitz Castle is perfectly perched atop limestone rock. The massive castle offers a panoramic view of the terrain below. On a clear day, the magnificent castle is picture-perfect.
The mountain backdrop, the white limestone, and the greenery make the castle even more beguiling. It is truly a must-visit castle for anyone thinking about visiting Austria.
When the 9th-century castle is open to the public, tourists can walk through 14 gates to reach it.
4. Riegersburg Castle
The grand medieval Riegersburg castle sits atop a dramatic cliff-edged dormant volcano. It is perched 482 meters above sea level and offers a beguiling horizon view. The mesmerizing castle was built using basalt from the hill.
Built in the mid-12th century, this impressive castle has withstood through time. The castle was first mentioned around 1138 in writing. It is known as an impregnable fortress — which is just right considering where it is perfectly located.
The Riegersburg castle has become more beautiful than intimidating. The lush greenery and serene vineyard make the castle look more surreal.
5. Burg Kreuzenstein
Among the most picturesque Danube castles is the Burg Kreuzenstein castle. On a beautiful wooded hill in Lower Austria is where you will find the massive castle standing 265 meters above sea level.
In 1874, philanthropist and polar explorer Johann Nepomuk was determined to rebuild the castle. Initially, his plan was to renovate the Chapel of Kreuzenstein as a family tomb, but it quickly turned into restoring the entire castle.
Because of the authentic, neo- and ‘original’ medieval structure of the castle, it is sometimes used as a location for films.
Fun fact: the 1993 movie The Three Musketeers was filmed in Burg Kreuzenstein. Some shots from the 1971 film The Vampire Happening was also filmed there.
6. Hohensalzburg Fortress
Other castles are not as impressive as the Hohensalzburg Castle. This massive medieval structure is considered as Europe’s biggest fortress. Sitting atop a hill, the castle offers an awe-inspiring overlooking cityscape of Salzburg.
Interestingly, the castle has never been conquered. The structure of the fortress seems like it was built around the 11th century.
7. Schallaburg Castle
One of the most beautiful and impressive Renaissance castles in Austria, Schallaburg Castle was built in the 11th century. It is also one of the oldest surviving homes in Austria. In the 15th century, a three-wing Renaissance castle was added. Insider
In the gallery are about 1,600 terracotta sculptures that are worth every photo. The ground is perfect for picnics.
8. Burg Mauterndorf
A trip to Burg Mauterndorf will bring you back to the middle ages. The building originally served as a toll and taxation office in the 13th century.
Tourists visiting Burg Mauterndorf can plunge deep into the history of this toll station castle. Educators and students can get a chance to learn more about the Middle Ages in this massive and elegant castle. The museum is filled with interesting stories and sculptures that tell what life was like in Medieval times.
9. Heinfels Castle
The alluring Heinfels castle is located on top of a hill above the town of Heinfels in the Puster Valley. The castle is now an exceedingly impressive landmark for eastern Pustertal and has been entitled the Queen of Pustertal.
In 2010, the castle was made accessible as part of the Tag des Denkmals, a kid of heritage site open-day. Hundreds of vacationers pay a visit to this stunning building.
According to legends, there are treasures in the underground corridor leading into the castle. Whether the legend is true or not remains a mystery.
10. Moosham Castle
Moosham Castle is as bewitching as it can be. It is considered as one of the most haunted castles in Europe. According to legends, hundreds of witches were beheaded in the castle, this includes thousands more than were accused as sorcerers of dark magic.
According to folktales, werewolves and witches haunted the castle in the 11th century. Today, Moosham Castle is also popularly known as Witches Castle and is now an accessible museum.
If you’re a fan of ghosts, witchcraft, and necromancy, then the Moosham Castle could be on your list.