Burgruine Landsee

Burgruine Landsee


Description of Burgruine Landsee

Location: District Oberpullendorf, Burgenland  Map

Constructed: 12th century


Burgruine Landsee is a medieval complex of military fortifications neat a small town of Markt Sankt Martin in District Oberpullendorf in Burgenland State of Austria. Although current Germanized name of Burgruine Landsee can be translated as a "Land Sea", it is actually a Hungarian in origin. In Hungarian name can be translated as a "Country here".



The castle ruins are a popular destination in the middle of the Landseer Berge nature park. It lies on a rocky outcrop on a ridge between Heidriegel (there are the remains of a refuge) and the Pauliberg.



The name has nothing to do with a lake/body of water. The castle was in Hungary until the end of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, its name is derived from the Hungarian name "Lánzsér" of a German name originally written "Landeshere". Whether a Hungarian or a German version was the first designation of the complex is not verifiable, nor whether the castle determined the name of the owner or the name (of the family) of the owner influenced that of the castle. Lánzsér is also translated as "lance bearer". The word "hehr..." is an old German word and stands for outstanding, highly respected, proud, of high rank and the like, the word "Hehre" was used for "proud beauty". This name thus describes the complex as a castle complex that was highly regarded at the time (a similar name formation is available at Landskron).

The name "Landeshere" was first mentioned in 1158, the castle in 1263. It was only a few hundred meters east of the border between the Austrian territories of the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1173, the document book of Styria mentions an Erchenger of state honor, whose family also owned Hohenwang Castle near Langenwang. His name is also mentioned in the rhyming chronicle of Ottokar von Horneck. These people are seen as officials (ministerials) of the Counts of Pitten, who at that time belonged to Styria, and as a branch of the Stubenberg family in East Styria. Before 1222 the castle belonged to Hungary. In the 13th century it belonged to Lorenz Athinai, the governor of what was then Sopron. In 1289 the castle was conquered by Duke Albrecht of Austria during his campaign against the Counts of Güssing in the course of the Güssing feud. In the middle of the 16th century the castle was owned by the Teufel family. Erasmus Teufel, whose epitaph is in the Winzendorf branch church, was imperial "Counselor Spann and Captain of Ödenburg" and "supreme commander of the light cavalry in Hungary". Erasmus was in Transylvania as the Emperor's emissary at negotiations, where he was captured by the Turks in 1552 and executed by the Janissaries. According to another story, he was sunk in a sack in the Black Sea. After several changes of ownership, the castle came to Baron, later Count Nikolaus Esterházy, in 1612.

On July 12, 1707, between 10 and 11 a.m., the first fire broke out, causing severe damage to the Kobersdorf side (northeast side) of the castle, where the owner's apartments were located. After that, the castle was restored, but later on it began to deteriorate, and it was already suggested that some parts should be demolished. On June 2, 1790, the castle burned again devastatingly. Its owner, Prince Nikolaus I Esterházy, known as "the Magnificent", died on September 28, 1790 in Vienna. His successor, Prince Anton, was forced to take severe austerity measures because of the lavish lifestyle of his predecessor, who had left him 3.8 million guilders in debt. The complex (called the castle at the time, see the historical map) was no longer built and was abandoned (in the end in favor of Forchtenstein Castle and the then Lackenbach dominion). In 1802 the complex was described as "ruinous". It then served as a quarry for the buildings in the area.

The castle ruins have been secured and made accessible to the general public since 1968.



The complex is about 300 × 200 m in size and, even as a ruin, it can still be clearly seen that the castle consisted of four fortification rings, the first of which were separated by two moats. The outermost ring of walls, which is poorly preserved, is the youngest. The year 1668 is on the first, simply built gate. The second, already heavily fortified gate is reached by a wooden bridge over the first ditch. Behind it, the main entrance way leads over another wooden bridge over the second ditch to the third gate. Behind this gate lies the large outer courtyard. From there, the fourth gate leads south into a narrow inner courtyard, the fifth (collapsed) gate leads to another courtyard, to which the residential wings, which have fallen to the ground, are connected to the east. From there, a stairway through the sixth gate leads to the central building, in which the location of the kitchen can still be seen. Similar to Forchtenstein, the strongest fortifications (thickest walls of the keep) face west, i.e. towards Austria, while the living quarters are on the east, secured by steep slopes. The walls of the residential tower (donjon) are up to ten meters thick. Several towers are attached to it, one of which housed the chapel. In it, a new staircase leads to the former roof area of ​​the donjon (with a lonely brick arch), from which a far-reaching view of the Sopron area, the southern part of Lake Neusiedl and the Bucklige Welt is possible.

The first chapel of the castle was dedicated to St. Ursula and was located in the chapel tower belonging to the central part of the existing ruins. This tower was built between 1460 and 1485. The castle also had its own cemetery ("Schlossfriedhof" on the access road to the ruins), in which the first parish church in Landsee was located. This church was dedicated to St. Nicholas and was already described in 1647 as "very old". As part of the expansion of the castle from 1650 to 1679, a baroque chapel was built, which was also dedicated to St. Nicholas.

Concerts, theater evenings and other entertainment events take place in the outdoor courtyard during the summer months.