Hardegg Castle or Burg Hardegg

Hardegg Castle

Hardegg Castle is a medieval citadel situated over a town of Hardegg in Lower Austria. It stands on top of a strategic mountain at an elevation of 317 metres (1,040 feet) above sea level.



Location: Lower Austria Map


1 Apr- 15 Nov 9am- 5pm daily
July-Aug 9am- 6pm daily

Constructed: 11th century

Tel. 43(0)2949/8225

Museum of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico

Emperor Maximilian

Emperor Maximilian (1832- 1867)



Hardegg was first mentioned in a document by Elisabeth von Schleunz in 1145, and "Otto de Hardeck" was cited as a witness to the donation. However, there was already a small fortification. The first owners were the Counts of Plain and Hardegg.

After this family died out, the castle had various owners, such as the Magdeburg-Hardeggers. Under them, the castle was significantly expanded until it was one of the largest in the country. A tower, a palace and a chapel were built. The castle served as the administrative center of the county of Hardegg, which can be traced back to 1294. Towards the end of the 15th century, the County of Hardegg was directly under the Empire. The power of the lords of the castle was based on numerous knightly retinues in the surrounding towns; The main towns in the county administered from Hardegg were Pulkau and Retz, which was founded between 1280/1305. After the death of the childless Michael, Imperial Count of Hardegg and Burgrave of Magdeburg, the castle became the property of the Habsburgs, who in 1499 gave it to the Magdeburg heirs, the Prüschenk brothers, Barons of Stettenberg, Erbmundschenken ob der Enns and Truchsessen in the Styria, pass on. At the same time, the two were appointed Imperial Counts of Hardegg and Machland. In 1501, Ulrich von Hardegg acquired the county of Glatz from his later brothers-in-law, Karl and Georg von Münsterberg, and with it the title of Count of Glatz. In 1502 Heinrich and Sigmund received the right to mint coins.

In the middle of the 17th century, the castle changed hands again and came into the possession of the Counts Khevenhüller, who took up their main residence at Riegersburg Castle from 1730. Since then, the castle has hardly been inhabited and has fallen into disrepair. During the fire in the town of Hardegg in 1764, the residents were allowed to use stones and wood from the castle to rebuild their houses.

From 1878, Johann-Carl von Khevenhüller, who also became known as a comrade-in-arms of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico against the troops of the republican Mexican government, had the fortress rebuilt and a family crypt built under the castle chapel. The plans for this were provided by Carl Gangolf Kayser, who was imperial court architect in Mexico in the years 1864-1867. A museum was set up in the castle in honor of Emperor Maximilian.

In the 20th century, the castle was inherited by the Counts Pilati von Thassul zu Daxberg, who still own it, together with Riegersburg Castle.

Film set
In 2014 Hardegg Castle was the location for the TV historical film The Secret of the Midwife.
In 2018, the castle served as a filming location, along with others in the Waldviertel, for the film Narziss und Goldmund, directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky.

Neighboring castles and palaces are Riegersburg Castle, Kaja Castle, Fronsburg Castle and in the Czech Republic the Nový Hrádek (Neuhäusel) ruins.