Güssing (Hungarian Németújvár, Croatian Novigrad) is a town in Burgenland in Austria. It is a suburb of the district of the same name and an important political, economic and cultural center of southern Burgenland. The town with its medieval Güssing Castle, situated on a former volcanic cone, was for centuries an important bulwark on the western border of the Kingdom of Hungary. It gained historical and cultural importance under the rule of the Batthyány family of magnates, who made Güssing their ancestral seat and had the castle and town expanded. In addition to the castle with its fortifications, there are other monuments from this period such as the Franciscan monastery with the Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, the Batthyány Castle and the Draskovich Castle.
Burg Güssing, 7540
Güssing. Phone: +43 (0)3322-43400. Fortifications located on a volcanic
cone with numerous bastions and gates and a distinctive keep. With roots
dating back to the 12th century, it is the oldest castle complex in
Burgenland. From 1522 it was the headquarters of the Batthány family and
since 1840 it has been owned by the Prince Philipp Batthyán Foundation.
Home to a restaurant with a viewing terrace and a castle museum with
around 5,000 historical exhibits such as weapons, sculptures, decorative
arts and paintings, including two portraits of Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Venue of the Güssing Castle Games since 1994.
Jakobuskirche: Romanesque parish church in the cemetery, built in the 9th century
Franciscan monastery: Three-winged monastery building from 1574 and former corner bastion of the city fortifications. Has a valuable monastery library with numerous manuscripts, incunabula and first editions, including many unique items from the Protestant period. In the cloister there is a Roman tombstone with an inscription.
Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary: Church adjoining the monastery with Renaissance elements and a Baroque high altar designed by Filiberto Lucchese. Built around 1638, minor basilica since 2013. The shrine of Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann, who was beatified in 2003, can also be found in the church. Beneath the church is the Batthyány family tomb, the second largest of its kind in Austria. Among other things, it has a remarkable lead sarcophagus for Karl Josef Batthyány, which was created by Balthasar Ferdinand Moll.
Batthyány Castle: Two-storey, castle-like arcaded building in the inner city, which has beautiful stucco work.
Güssing Castle: One-storey building from the 17th century above Batthyány Castle. Former seat of the district administration.
Drašković Castle: Classicist castle in the lower town, with Empire furnishings and Gothic winged altar from 1469 in the castle chapel.
Old farm mill with the emigrant and Josef Reichl museum
Musical Güssing: The cultural association has several major events throughout the year. At the end of January, the carnival cabaret takes place in the cultural center in Güssing. In September, a well-known musical is performed annually, in which professionals and amateurs take part. The musical actor Florian Resetarits has his musical roots in the club.
Burgspiele Güssing: Güssing was already a cultural center 500 years ago. The theater was always important. The castle games are a fixed point in the summer cultural programme. Until his death in 2022, the actor Frank Hoffmann was the director of the Güssinger Kultursommer, during which plays are performed at Güssing Castle in the summer. The Güssing Castle Association plays summer theater for children and adults on the festival grounds at the foot of the castle
Airfield LOGG - 820 m asphalt runway
Güssing cannot be reached by train, the nearest train station is Fürstenfeld (bus connection).
In the street
By car: From Vienna and Graz via the A 2 to the Ilz exit, continue on the B 69 to Heiligenkreuz and the B 57.
The roots of Güssing go back to a suburb that developed in the
shadow of Güssing Castle and formed a lenticular green around the
castle rock. In 1427 it was called civitas and in 1459 civitas et
Since the 16th century, Güssing has been a free city with full city rights. In 1619 it was surrounded by a curtain wall and had four districts: suburb (Mühlviertel), lower town (location of Drašković Castle), inner town (monastery church up to the town hall) and high town.
In 1540 the magnate Franz Batthyány received permission from Emperor Ferdinand I to develop ore mines in Güssing, and in 1549 the Emperor also granted him the right to hold markets in Güssing. A market is held in the town every first Monday of the month.
Like the entire Burgenland, the town belonged to Hungary (German-West Hungary) until 1920/21. Since 1898, the Hungarian place name Németújvár ("German Neuburg") had to be used due to the Magyarization policy of the government in Budapest. After the end of the First World War, after tough negotiations, German West Hungary was ceded to Austria in the Treaties of Saint-Germain and Trianon in 1919. The place has belonged to the newly founded federal state of Burgenland since 1921 (see also History of Burgenland). In 1973, Güssing was elevated to the status of a town.
From 1909 until after the end of the Second World War, Güssing had a railway connection via the Güssinger Bahn to Körmend, which was primarily used for timber transport. After 1945 it seemed pointless to keep the railway running, not least because the traffic was only directed to Hungary on the one hand and on the other hand because the "Iron Curtain" now separated the railway line. Rail traffic was stopped, the tracks rotted away. Today, the new federal highway 56 between Güssing and Strem mainly runs along the former railway bed. The station building in Güssing, built in 1899, was renovated and is still standing.
Castle plays with theater performances take place at Güssing Castle in summer. http://www.bnet.at/guessing
The population has been declining since 1991 despite immigration
because the birth rate is very negative.
After the annexation of Burgenland to Austria, the ethnic and linguistic structure of the population changed significantly. In 1910 the Magyar population was still around 45.1%; In 1934 the proportion of the Hungarian-speaking population was around 8%. This change is due on the one hand to the withdrawal of many Magyar civil servants, military personnel, etc. to Hungary, and on the other hand to the language-national self-definition of the inhabitants.
In the last census, Güssing counted 2% (1991) or 1.0% (2001) of the Hungarian-speaking population (resident population with Austrian citizenship).
From the mid-19th century, Jews began to play a role in the city's trade. In 1824 the rapidly growing Jewish community already had 491 members. Güssing reached its highest Jewish population in 1859 with 766 people. From 1860, however, many Jewish families moved away, so that in 1934 only 74 Jews lived here. The seizure of power by the National Socialists brought the end of Jewish life in Güssing through expulsion and deportation.
Güssing is connected via the Güssinger Straße to the national road
network in a north-south direction within Austria: Eisenstadt is about
120 kilometers away via the Güssinger Straße, the Burgenland Straße and
the Burgenland expressway. The southern autobahn towards Vienna
(distance around 160 kilometers) is about 40 kilometers away via the
Lafnitztal/Oberwart junction (near Markt Allhau), towards Graz (distance
around 85 kilometers) the Ilz-Fürstenfeld junction can be reached after
around 35 kilometers. With the opening of the Fürstenfeld expressway,
both the connection to the southern autobahn and the M80 (Hungary) in
the direction of Hungary will be significantly improved. From
Szombathely, about 40 kilometers from Güssing, the Autópálya M86 runs in
Hungary to Mosonmagyaróvár on the Autópálya M1. Budapest is 250
kilometers away, Bratislava just over 200 kilometers, Zagreb around 230
kilometers and Ljubljana around 240 kilometers away.
The Güssing – Körmend railway connection was discontinued after the Second World War, and since then the Güssing district has been the only political district in Austria without a railway connection. National express bus connections exist with Vienna and Graz.
The nearest airports are the regional airport in Graz and the international airports in Vienna, Bratislava, Zagreb and Budapest.
Under Mayor Peter Vadasz, the city developed an energy concept for
independent and sustainable energy generation in the early 1990s.
The European Center for Renewable Energy Güssing (EEE) was founded with EU funding as a measure for economic development. This should create jobs in the region and slow down the outflow of purchasing power through energy imports. Using wood gasification, electricity and heat worth 20 million euros could be produced on the basis of renewable energy sources in the past few years. In 2005, Güssing was already generating significantly more heat (57.5 GWh) and electricity (14 GWh) from renewable raw materials than the city itself needs. The power plant with wood gasification in Güssing also included a test facility that uses Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to produce a diesel-like biofuel. In 2013 the power plant went bankrupt.
After the decline in biodiesel production, the municipality's self-sufficiency rate was only 51%. The photovoltaic company Blue Chip Energy Güssing had already gone bankrupt in 2011.