Hinterhaus Castle


Location: Spitz Map

Found: 12th century


Hauntings in Hinterhaus Castle

The ruins of the Hinterhaus, also known as the Oberhaus, are almost a thousand years old fortifications in Spitz an der Donau, Lower Austria, on a foothill of the Jauerling. It was first mentioned in 1243. The ruins in the Wachau region are near the "Tausendeimerberg", a vineyard that yields a certain amount of grapes every year, and on a rocky ridge of the so-called local mountain, part of the Jauerling stock. The grape variety "Riesling" has its origins here.

The hilltop castle is clearly divided into three separate parts: the lower bailey to the north-east, the main castle, which occupies most of the rocky ridge, and the bailey to the south-west.

However, the oldest part – the main castle – already existed in the 12th century. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Knights of Spitz ruled this castle, which in turn was subject to the Kuenringers.

An Austrian excursion tip says: "Many legends and stories are entwined around the ruins of the Hinterhaus. The ruins are said to be haunted to this day. The spirit of the deceased Adelheid, Mrs. Heinrich des Eisernen, appears every year on the anniversary of her husband's death on the ruins of the Hinterhaus in the Wachau. Heinrich married a new woman shortly after her death, although at that time one had to observe a year of mourning. Shortly afterwards he died too. Many saw it as punishment for his shameful behavior.”



The castle is originally the center of the Hft. Spitz and from 1242 in feudal possession of the Bavarians. dukes. It was first mentioned in 1243 in a Niederaltaich record as "castrum in monte". As feudal bearers of the Bavarians, the Kuenringers own Dukes of the two Spitzer castles, Hinterhaus and Niederhaus. In 1355, Hinterhaus passed to Mr. v. Wallsee, 1385 to the Maissauer. In 1409 the castle was destroyed, but rebuilt and before 1440 came into the hands of Mr. v. Neidegg. In 1463 the castle was besieged again, this time in vain, but in 1491 it was taken by Hungarian troops. In 1504 the Bavarians fall. Possessions to the Austrian sovereigns. After the end of the Bavarian. Hft. uninhabited, the castle was already referred to as "Burgstall" around 1500. In 1507 it came to Eitelfritz v. Zollern, 1518 to Bernhard Kirchberger. In the 1st H. d. 16th century is the refortification of the complex, a reaction to the first Turkish invasions. In 1590 the property passed to Fr. Matthias Teufel, in the same year to Hans Georg v. Kuefstein. In 1620 the castle was destroyed and probably never repaired. From 1646 owned by the Geyer v. Osterburg, owned by the Abensperg-Traun family from 1667. Owned by Dietrichstein from 1674 until the basic relief. During the French wars of 1805 and 1809, the building was again destroyed. In 1871 the facility came to the Wiener Bürgerspitalfonds, in 1918 to the War Damaged Fund and later to the Austrian. federal forests. The ruins have been owned by MG Spitz since 1970 and have been managed by the Spitz tourist office since 1977.

Building specification:
Following the topography, a regular, elongated castle complex was created, approx. 75 m long and max. 20 m wide. The terraced arrangement is due to the rock spur descending from SW to NE. On the central, highest terrace is the castellated main castle of approx. 30 x 16 m with the integrated, square keep on the mountain-side, western corner. The tower, which has an average side length of 7.20 m, is accessed from the 1st floor by stairways in the thickness of the wall. At the northern and southern corners of the tower, the zones of attack of the bering, which only encompasses the corners, can be seen in the plaster. The original gate system can be reconstructed next to the tower in the mountain-side SW Bering, where indications of an early gate construction can be seen. The shape of the fort and the structure of the masonry (storage, coarse-block quarry stone masonry) date the components correspondingly to the time when the castle was first mentioned, to the 2nd V. d. 13th century A complex, multi-phase group of buildings with 2 wings covers the northern courtyard area. The buildings of the 14th - 16th centuries integrate parts of the high medieval palace of the 13th century that are interlocked with the Bering. In a room northeast. of the keep lies the deep well or cistern shaft that is secured today.
Extensive expansions followed from the late Middle Ages. Along the SE side of the stronghold, a small, 3-part ward was probably built as early as the 14th century with the younger access situation being relocated to this side. In subsequent construction phases, the valley-side, deeper terraces are included by the spacious north-eastern bailey. The planned, regular, pre-bastion fortification has 2 flankable round towers designed for firearms on the north-eastern side. Gate side and a small commercial building on the northern rock terrace. This expansion is possible. as a result of one of the acts of war of the 15th century. originated and in the 2nd H. d. 15th century to date. A little later, on the mountain side, the neck ditch is built over by a regular, small enclosure, which, like on the valley side, has 2 slim round towers that can be flanked. In contrast to the functional NE outer bailey, the hillside system is already characterized by traditionally designed early Renaissance defense elements. Special detailed forms, such as the decorative battlements that can only be used to a limited extent, funnel slits for handguns and the slim, overhanging form of the round towers date this extension to the 1st half of the 19th century. 16th century, as a reaction to the first Turkish invasions. div. Terraces and walls on the rise, north-east. of the castle can be traced back to the outlying works of the Middle Ages, which were later heavily modified and built over by vineyard terraces.