Aichelberg Castle (Burgruine Aichelberg)

Aichelberg Castle


Location: Carinthia  Map

Constructed: 13th century


Description of Aichelberg Castle or Burgruine Aichelberg

The ruins of Aichelberg Castle, also known as Eichelberg Castle, are located in the Ossiacher Tauern northeast of the municipality of Wernberg in the Austrian state of Carinthia.



Aichelberg Castle was built around 1200. The castle is first mentioned in a historical document from 1224 as "Eychelburg". At that time, its owner, Reinher de Eychelberc, participated with great success in the knight's tournament in Breže. In 1227, he participated in Ulrik Lichtenstein's journey from Venice to Styria in the so-called i. the journey of Venus. Another Reinher de Aichelberg, probably a son, appears between 1267 and 1275 as Ministerial of the Duke of Carinthia. Bernhard von Aichelberg actively supported Duke Albert in the war against the Güssings in 1289. After the extinction of the family of the Aichelberg knights, the castle and the property came into the possession of the provincial prince.

In 1427, the castle was pledged to the citizen of Beljak, Hans Khevenhüller. In 1431, however, the provincial prince granted it to the Khevenhüllers, who added on and expanded it at that time. Since then, the Khevenhüllers have been nicknamed "Aichelberg". In 1480, the Turks came before nearby Feldkirchen, but did not attack the castle because of its fortifications. The castle was largely destroyed in 1484 in the war between Emperor Frederick III. against the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus, but also soon restored. In 1487, the manor was temporarily leased to Leonard Platzer. A few years later it was again owned by the Khevenhüller family. Even before 1510, the lordship was granted to August Khevenhüller. Since the castle was remote and unpleasant to live in, a new castle was soon built in the village of Domačale as the seat of the lordship. Since the Khevenhüllers were staunch Protestants and had to emigrate, Pavel Khevenhüller sold the castle in 1629 to the High Hereditary Marshal of Carinthia, Hans Siegmund Count von Wagensberg. In 1632, Emperor Ferdinand confirmed the fiefdom and the district court. In 1640, his daughter Anna Regina Baroness von Breuner inherited the property. After her death, Aichelberg belonged to her daughter Maria Theresa Baroness von Galler. The depiction in Valvasor's lithograph shows that the castle was already falling apart in 1688. In 1699, Clemens Ferdinand Count Kaiserstein bought the property from his inheritance. He died in 1724 and Aichelberg passed to his daughter Maria Maximilian Baroness Jöchlinger von Jochenstein. The estate passed to his grandson Felix Baron Jöchlinger von Jochenstein in 1846, and then to his daughter Johanna Countess Rosenberg. The Orsini-Rosenberg family still owns the ruin.

The castle was built as a Romanesque/Late Romanesque fortress. The well-preserved ruins are mostly from the 15th century. Above all, the four-story residential building with large windows and the three-story round tower are still clearly visible. Defense tower or t. i. The Bergfried was demolished in the 16th century.



The four-story residential building with large windows and the three-story gatehouse wing with a projecting round tower are still well preserved from the extensive complex. The keep was removed in the 16th century. A fenced-in forecourt is in front of the complex to the south. The castle has been closed for renovation work since 2016, financed by the owner family, the municipality of Wernberg, the state of Carinthia and the EU. From summer 2020, the facility should be open to the public again and used for events.