Geyersberg Castle (Burg Geyersberg)

Location: Carinthia


Geiersberg Castle is a rock castle in Friesach in Carinthia in Austria. It stands on a steep rocky outcrop at the north end of town. The rocky peak drops steeply on three sides, only in the west does a flat saddle lead to the Krewenze, from there an almost level path leads to the castle. The facility is privately owned and cannot be entered.



The original construction of the complex is estimated to be in the year 1130, the time of Archbishop Konrad I of Salzburg. The castle was first mentioned in a document in 1271. The keep was part of the suburban fortifications. Since the 13th century the castle has been connected to the vicedom's office. After a fire in 1690, Johann Andrä Auer received the castle as a fief from the Archbishop of Salzburg, Johann Ernst, and had it repaired. Several changes of ownership followed and since 1750 the castle was uninhabitable. In 1912 the castle was extensively restored in the style of historicism and the west wing was rebuilt. More restoration work and structural changes have also taken place in recent times.



The rectangular core castle from the first half of the 13th century with a mighty keep stands on the crest of the rock. The residential building from the early 20th century adjoins on the north side. From the Palas from the early 13th century on the north-eastern flank, only low walls have survived. The first complex was surrounded to the north, west and south by a second ring wall from the second half of the 13th century, with a cornered, originally open shell tower in the west and a tower in the south corner that was converted into a chapel in the early 14th century.

Living quarters
The residential wing was built in 1911-1912 in a historicizing style and rebuilt shortly thereafter in 1935 by Helmar Temajer. Since then there have been further renovations by subsequent owners.

In the former southern corner of the stronghold is the mighty six-storey keep with a square floor plan. The regular quarry stone masonry was built in the first half of the 13th century. The building has historicizing biforia windows on the upper floors on the east and south fronts; only the original light slits with reveal edges framed by light blocks date from the first half of the 13th century. The Renaissance wooden balcony was only added in 1912.

Outer ring
The outer ring consists of quarry stone masonry from the second half of the 13th century and was completely renovated in 1912 and equipped with rectangular battlements. In the first quarter of the 14th century, the castle was integrated into the suburban fortifications as a northern bulwark and another wall was built running to the south-west. The shell tower was originally open on one side, but was walled up in 1912. The rectangular windows with orthostatic jambs are still partially in their original condition.

Gate tower and chapel of Saint Anna
At the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century, the upper floor of the tower protruding at the southern corner of the bering with a former rectangular ground plan was rebuilt into a chapel with an irregular ⅜ ending. Today's passage through the tower, the substructure for access to the chapel and the arched portal date from the beginning of the 16th century. The chapel has frescoes from the beginning of the 16th century. Crucifixion group is depicted on the east wall. The Mother of God and Saint Elizabeth can be seen on the south-east wall. The representations on the south wall each have two bishops and knights, the three of Saint Anne with Saint Joseph and a half-length figure of Saint Catherine. The frescoes have been greatly altered by overpainting and were restored in 1954. The high altar was made around 1670. The slightly concave altar wall is divided by niches and twisted columns entwined with vine leaves. The antependium is laterally limited by herm-like volute pilasters with angel heads.

The outer bailey consists largely of irregular quarry stone masonry from the first quarter of the 14th century. It partially collapsed in the south-west and was rebuilt in 1970. The outer bailey has a simple arched gate near the southern corner and on the southwest front and a shell tower protruding from the wall alignment in the southwest.