Federaun Castle (Burgruine Federaun)

Location: Villach, Carinthia  Map

onstructed: 13th century


Description of Federaun Castle

Federaun Castle is a medieval stronghold situated South- West of city of Villach, second largest city in the Austrian province of Carinthia. Federaun Castle or Burgruine ("castle ruins" in German) was erected in the 13th century and first mentioned in the documents in 1311. In the middle of the 13th century Rudolf of Ras took possession of the citadel. He used it as a base for his robbery attacks on trading caravans that travelled along local roads between Central Europe and Italy. In 1255 Rudolf along with his band was defeated by the private armies sent by Bishop Heinrich von Bamberg. Famous robber baron was probably spared and expelled from the region. Federaun Castle was abandoned around 17th century. Most of military fortifications were used by the local peasants as a stone quarry. Today only part of the medieval walls and towers remain standing. You can access Federaun Castle through a rocky and steep path from the East via Warmbad/ Graschelitzen.



The former Bamberg fortification is located directly above the historically important long-distance road Villach-Tarvis, which crosses the Gail below the castle rock. The fortress also includes a bridge watchtower on a rock above the river, which was used to block the road and was later converted into a residential tower. The second documented tower at Federaun could not be located. The castle can be reached from the east via Warmbad/Graschelitzen through a partly stony and steep path.



The oldest documented mention of Federaun dates back to 1311. In the middle of the 13th century, Rudolf von Ras (from Rosegg im Rosental, see also Lords of Ras) conquered the castle and used it as a base for his robberies of the passing trade transports to and from Italy. In 1255 Bishop Heinrich von Bamberg put an end to this activity and expelled the robber baron.

Federaun Castle may have started to fall into disrepair before the 17th century.



Only small remnants of the main castle with the mighty outwork to the east have been preserved. The main castle from the late 12th century is on the western part of the ridge. The castle complex was later repeatedly expanded to the east. The result of these additions is an unusually large complex with two large outer baileys. What is remarkable, however, is the beautifully bricked, conical cistern in the courtyard. A vault that is not dated is still in good condition. At the eastern end, the castle is secured by a deep moat.