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Dietrichstein Castle (Burgruine Dietrichstein)
Dietrichstein Castle is a medieval
citadel situated near a town of Feldkirchen in Kärnten
in Carinthia state in Austria. Its name is actually given to ruins
of the castle as well as later palace that stands nearby.
Dietrichstein Castle was erected in
the early 12th century although local traditions claim that it was
erected in the 9th century by Dietrich von Zeltschach. First written
record date back to the 1103 so it is considered to be an official
date of castle foundation. The purpose of Dietrichstein Castle was
to safe guard major traffic artery between Vienna and Venice that is
Venedigerstraße. It served an official seat of the Dietrichstein
family who rose to the status of imperial princes. It was badly damaged in 1483 by invading Turkish
The coat of arms of
Dietrichstein Castle portray the winemaker, as a reference to a
local winemaking culture that were commonly spread in the Middle
Ages. Around 1335 Dietrichstein Castle was captured and destroyed by
the armies of Margarethe Maultasch, but before 1370 it was quickly
rebuilt. In 1483 Dietrichstein Castle was besieged again by the
armies of king Matthias Corvinus. Its defenders under leadership of
Pankraz of Dietrichstein were forced to surrender its garrison after
6 months. Contrary to his promises maded during the surrender,
Hungarian king completely destroyed Dietrichstein Castle.
Today Dietrichstein Castle
lies in ruins, but even despite its state it is still large and
imposing. Its trenches, walls and cistern give an impression of what
it appeared in the past.