Eschelberg Castle (Schloss Eschelberg)

 Eschelberg Castle (Schloss Eschelberg)

Location: Sankt Gotthard im Muhlkreis, Upper Austria  Map


Eschelberg Castle is a castle in the village of Eschelberg in the municipality of St. Gotthard in Upper Austria's Mühlviertel region. It emerged from a castle first mentioned in 1205, which was rebuilt around 1598 into a palace in the Renaissance style.



The castle, built at the end of the 16th century, is a three-wing building with a courtyard closed off by a wall on the west. It lies on a ridge that slopes steeply on both sides at 396 m above sea level. A. Elevation. Parts of the medieval Palas were included in the building structure. The entrance wing is to the north. The Renaissance gate made of granite blocks, above which the coat of arms of the lords of Gera can still be seen, can be reached via a bridge. The adjoining gate hall is built over with a tower with a tent roof. In the southeast of the palace complex is the palace chapel (dedicated to the Holy Spirit) with a lunette vault. It is built on the foundations of a former tower.

On the way to the castle, you will pass the former brewery on the left, which today serves as the studio of the sculptor Magnus Angermeier. The buildings of the former Meierhof are on the right hand side.

The ruins of the previous medieval building are to the south of the castle buildings. The core of the hilltop castle, a rectangular building block around a courtyard, lay on the extreme spur of the slope in the south, where high remains of the wall still tower today.



Eschelberg was first mentioned in a document in 1205 with its owner Hainricus de Esilberch. Later, the spellings Eschelberch (1287), Eschelwerch (1378) and Eschelburg (1569) also appear in documents. Hainricus, probably a member of the Traun family, was a liege man of the Bavarian Count von Leonberg, who owned the castle. In 1283 the ministerial Otto von Traun was enfeoffed with Eschelberg. The fiefdom changed in the 14th century to the diocese of Passau.

In 1560 the Lords of Gera, who came from Carinthia, received the fiefdom, whose possession had meanwhile passed to the Austrian sovereign. In 1598 the people of Gera had the castle converted into a palace. Christoph von Gera, deputy of the Austrian estate above the Enns, was struck in 1609 at a meeting of the country house. His son Erasmus II von Gera (1588-1657), arrested as a Protestant rebel but later converted to Catholicism, sold the Waxenberg dominion to Konrad Balthasar von Starhemberg in 1647. He retained the rule of Eschelberg with Lichtenhaag.

On March 31, 1654, Erasmus von Gera sold his lordship of Eschelberg and Lichtenhag Castle, including all belongings, to Konrad Balthasar von Starhemberg (1612–1687).

From then on, Eschelberg formed an administrative unit together with Rottenegg, Oberwallsee and Lichtenhag and had a total of 313 subjects. Eschelberg Castle is still owned by the Starhemberg family.

After 1945, refugees were housed in the castle, and in 1962 the castle tower burned down completely due to a lightning strike. The palace complex was renovated in 2010. Today the area can be rented for weddings and company parties.