Castle Arnoldstein (Klosterruine Arnoldstein)

Location: Carinthia  Map

Constructed: 11th century


Open: May 2- July 10

Mon- Fri: 8am- 12pm


July 11- Sept 9

Mon- Tue: 8am- 12pm

Wed- Fri: 8am- 5pm

Sat- Sun: 11am- 5pm


Sept 14- Sept 30

Mon- Fri: 8am- 12pm


Description of Castle Arnoldstein

Castle Arnoldstein is a medieval citadel perched on top of the hill overlooking a city of Arnoldstein in Carinthia state of Austria. Despite its name it is actually a former Benedictine abbey.


Castle Arnoldstein was constructed in the 11th century (1085- 90) as a Benedictine abbey under leadership of Bamberg prince bishops. The area around the castle was donated by the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Henry II shortly after his coronation in 1014. Bishop Otto of Bamberg donated a large sums of money in 1106 for the construction of a large monastery. Its walls and towers were erected to protect the monastery inside against robbing barons or criminals bands of all kinds.


Castle Arnoldstein was badly damaged by the Friuli earthquake of 1348. Subsequent restoration project put a significant economic burdain on the abbey. It was further damage in 1476 during Turkish Invasion. Most of its defenders died in battle or were executed shortly after the fall of the citadel.


In 1495 the monks were forced to lease parts of the Castle Arnoldstein to Jakob Fugger and his brothers. This allowed some extra cash to keep other parts of the castle in proper condition. During the Protestant Reformation the abbey alsmost went bankrupt. The Habsburg archduke Ferdinand II of Austria wanted to transfer the monastery to the Jesuits in the 17th century, but these plans were never carried out.


The Benedictine abbey of the Castle Arnoldstein was completely abolished in 1783 by a decree of Emperor Joseph II. Monastery buildings of the complex were used for administrative and agricultural purposes. However devastating fire broke out on 16 August 1883. It damaged many buildings and the citadel was never rebuilt. Its ruins were left to the nature elements.


Only in 1993 the restoration project has begun. Today Castle Arnoldstein is open to the public as well as various cultural and personal events.