Burg Schlaining

Burg Schlaining



Location: Stadtschlai-ning, Oberwart district Map

Constructed: 13th century



The castle was originally on an important traffic artery that ran in a north-south direction across the Bernstein Mountains. Later, the trade routes that led through the area from Steinamanger, Graz, Wiener Neustadt and Sopron crossed there.



The Friedensburg Schlaining was mentioned in 1271 as castrum Zloynuk in a document by Ottokar Přemysl and was owned by the Counts of Güssing at that time. After the Güssingers were defeated by the Hungarian King Karl Robert I von Ajou, he gave the Friedensburg to the Kanizsai family. In 1397 the reign of King Sigismund was pledged to Nikolaus Zarka von Pecol and his son-in-law Georg Tompek (Tannpeck) of Oroszvár and given in 1401 to Georg Tompek and his brother Johann.

In 1445 Emperor Friedrich III. the lordship of Schlaining and pledged the castle to the mercenary leader Andreas Baumkircher, who bought it over the next few years along with a number of other manorial estates, so that in 1471 30 villages were wholly or partially part of the dominion of Schlaining. The "Baumkirchfehde" (1469-1471) against Emperor Friedrich III. ended in 1471 with the execution of Baumkircher in Graz.

After several changes of ownership, the Friedensburg Schlaining fell as a gift to Franz Batthyány in 1471, whose successor remained the owner for more than 370 years. The last owner from this line, Ludwig Batthyány, was appointed the first Hungarian prime minister on March 17, 1848. After the suppression of the revolution in 1848, he was sentenced to death by a court-martial. After his execution on October 6, 1849, his property and with it the castle came into the possession of the Hungarian Chamber.

In 1849 the railway pioneer Franz Schmidt bought the castle, in 1911 ownership changed to Demeter Salesky, who had to give the castle to the Hungarian Hermesbank after the First World War.

In 1957 the former federal minister DDDr. Udo Illig built the Friedensburg Schlaining, whose aim it was to preserve or restore the devastated complex in its original state. The idea of ​​creating a Friedensburg came about during the turbulent times of the Cold War. For this purpose, an association was founded in 1982 with the support of Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, with the help of which the idea of ​​a dialogue between East and West was to be promoted. This association was implemented, among other things, by the "Peace Center" at the Friedensburg Schlaining as a place of encounter, discussion and dialogue.

The association then established itself in 1983 as the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, or ÖSFK for short, which was also given the official title of "Ambassador of Peace" by Secretary General Perez de Cuellar in 1987.

The Friedensburg is also a location of the Burgenland cultural operations as well as a seminar and conference center. Various cultural events and wedding celebrations also take place here.

In 1992 the 2nd International Conference of Peace Museums took place there, and in 2000 the ÖSFK set up the European Peace Museum in the castle. In 2018, the 32nd annual conference of the future workshops took place there with guests from Germany, Austria, Spain, Syria and Hungary: "Building bridges, creating peace - against the division of society" was the focus.

The Burghotel Schlaining conference hotel was installed in the 15th century smithy and armory directly opposite the castle, taking into account monument protection. Refurbishment and construction from March 2020 until the full opening at the end of March 2022 (continuously during the COVID-19 pandemic) cost over 7 million euros. It has 100 beds in 64 rooms.



Knight's Hall and Castle Chapel
A decorative painting from 1740 is located above the entrance to the knight's hall, which was already used as a representation room in the time of Andreas Baumkirchner (15th century). decorative focal points.

The seminar center of the Friedensburg with the seminar rooms and a large event hall for larger events and conferences is now located in the Granarium (also known as the granary).

Moat - the forbidden path
The moat has been expanded and rebuilt in recent years. Above all, the "Forbidden Path", which leads around the castle, invites you to visit the castle from the outside. The castle arena itself serves as an event space with a unique stage and grandstand system.

Black Court
The name comes from the striking sgraffito decoration on the staircase and the candle arches. The castle complex was built around the Black Courtyard, making it the oldest area of ​​the Friedensburg. Here are three cisterns of the former water supply.


Large courtyard
The courtyard is surrounded by a ring of walls, on which the former living and economic rooms were located. The cannon towers date from the 15th century. At the bridgehead to the third castle gate there are two resting sandstone rams from the 18th century. The Baumkircher memorial stone or the so-called Baumkircher monument is located on the northern side wall. The five chestnut trees, which were planted in a crown shape in the middle of the castle courtyard, are intended to commemorate the coronation of Empress Elisabeth as Queen of Hungary.

Former synagogue
The former synagogue and the former rabbi's house of the Jewish community are located near the main square. Due to the tolerant attitude of the Batthyánys, the number of Schlainingen Jewish community grew to 650 members by 1848 - at that time over 40% of the city's population.


Anniversary exhibition

After extensive renovation, the Friedensburg Schlaining is the venue for the anniversary exhibition "We are 100. Burgenland makes history", which opens on August 15th. In 2021, Burgenland will celebrate 100 years of belonging to Austria, a historic anniversary dedicated to togetherness. In the last century, Burgenland has developed from one of the poorest areas of Europe to a model region in Austria, but also within the entire European Union. The strong sense of togetherness and the positive sense of unity among the population made a significant contribution to this.

Interesting facts about the emergence of the easternmost province of Austria, political history, identity and homeland, economy and environment, emigration and refugee movements as well as the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the country are discussed. Gripping life stories and memories of personalities from Burgenland or interesting facts about typical local cuisine and enjoyment are also in the spotlight.

The impressive development of Burgenland is shown based on the moments when Burgenland was in the limelight of world events. For example, during the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 or the refugee crisis of 2015.

The exhibition is curated by the renowned contemporary historian Univ. Prof. DDr. Oliver Rathkolb The versatile costume and stage designer Christoph Cremer is responsible for the design of the show.

The anniversary exhibition at Friedensburg Schlaining forms the foundation for the house of Burgenland history, which is expected to open its doors in 2023.

Restoration of the Friedensburg Schlaining

In 2019, the Burgenland state government decided to realize the anniversary exhibition at the Friedensburg Schlaining. This was accompanied by a decision on general renovation. In cooperation with the Federal Monuments Office, the renovation of the outer facade and the historic interior was carried out. Particular attention is paid to accessibility and fire protection during the renovation.

During the renovation, not only the original wooden floors were found, but also extraordinary wall paintings. The frescoes that were uncovered in the tower room probably date from around 1500. The color "Egyptian blue" was used, which only exists in this type at two other locations in Europe. From the point of view of monument protection, this find is a sensation.

Former Synagogue Schlaining - part of the anniversary exhibition

An important part of the anniversary exhibition is the former synagogue of Stadtschlaining, which is still the best-preserved synagogue in Burgenland. On the main square, in the immediate vicinity of Friedensburg Schlaining, is the former synagogue founded in the 18th century and the rabbi's house, which is also a listed building.

Due to the tolerant attitude of the Batthyánys, Stadtschlaining's large Jewish community grew to 650 members by 1865, making up over 40% of the town's population. With the liberalization of the “Jewish Laws” in what was then Hungary, many Jews decided to leave Stadtschlaining. The once large Jewish community continued to shrink and in 1938 all the remaining Jews were expelled and their property Aryanized. After the Second World War, the synagogue stood empty for a long time before the building was acquired by the "Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution" (ASPR) in the 1980s.


Legends and stories

The legend of Andreas Baumkircher

In 1446 Duke Friedrich III. the Styrian knight Andreas Baumkircher built Schlaining Castle, which he had expanded further. After a few years, Baumkircher swore allegiance to the Hungarian King Ladislaus V. Later he stayed with Friedrich III again for a while. and finally became the banner lord of Matthias Corvinus. In order to get rid of this fickle subject, Emperor Friedrich III lured him. in 1471 to Graz by having a safe-conduct letter delivered to him, in which he assured him of protection and free departure until the Vesper bell rang.

Baumkircher appeared in Graz with his comrade Andreas Grissenecker, although he had been warned against treason. When the two knights realized that the negotiations with them had been deliberately drawn out, they wanted to leave the city an hour before the bells for Vespers. When the emperor heard this, he had the vespers bell rung before its time, the gates fell, the drawbridges went up, and the two knights fell into captivity. Between the two murtors, they were immediately beheaded. The corpses of the executed were buried in the cloister of the Franciscan church, Baumkircher's corpse was later transferred to Schlaining.

When Martha, Baumkircher's courageous daughter, found out about her father's insidious capture, she rushed to Graz to rescue her father. But it was already too late! Already the decapitated father lay in his blood under the gates. Seized with nameless pain, Martha dipped her cloth in the blood of the executed man and threw it in the faces of the accomplices present with a curse. She placed her father's body in a silver coffin and took it to Schlaining, where she had it buried in the Marienkirche. The Marienkirche has long since disappeared, and only a few remains of the wall on the city wall reveal its former existence.

On misty nights, the ghost of Andreas Baumkircher can be seen at Friedensburg Schlaining, haunting the castle with his head under his arm.

Sadako's cranes
August 6, 1945: A US plane drops an atomic bomb over Hiroshima. The consequences are fatal: 80,000 people die immediately or a few days later.

A little girl named Sadako also becomes a witness. At first it seems as if she survived the attack unharmed. But at the age of twelve she fell ill with leukemia - a late consequence of the atomic bomb dropping. Their only hope lies in an old Japanese belief: if you fold 1000 paper cranes, you will grant your heart's desire. So Sadako gets down to it and folds crane after crane. But when the 1000 cranes are finished, she feels worse than before and finally dies shortly before her 13th birthday.

Her family decides to carry the little girl's cranes out into the world and with them the message of peace. One of these cranes is kept at the Friedensburg Schlaining and can also be found in the logo.