Hohenwart Castle (Burgruine Hohenwart)

Location: Kosternberg, Carinthia  Map

Constructed: 12th century


Description of Hohenwart Castle or Burgruine Hohenwart

Hohenwart Castle or Burgruine Hohenwart is a medieval citadel near a town of Kosternberg in an Austrian province of Carinthia. Hohenwart Castle is a ruined medieval fortress located near Kosternberg in Carinthia province of Austria. It stands on top of strategic hill at an altitude of 802 meters above sea level. Hohenwart Castle is known locally as a Black Castle. It was constructed in the 12th century by the orders of Duke Henry V of Carinthia. Henry's brother Duke Hermann sold Hohenwart Castle to Bishop of Gurk Roman I in 1162.



The ruins of the former hilltop castle are located on the rocky, partly wooded summit of the Kleiner Sternberg at 802 m above sea level.

In the middle of the 12th century, Duke Heinrich V of Carinthia received the castle and dominion of Hohenwart as a gift from Pilgrim von Pozzuolo. Heinrich's brother Duke Hermann sold the castle in 1162 to Bishop Roman I of Gurk. In 1365 the Bishop of Gurk enfeoffed the Counts of Ortenburg with the castle. Then the Counts of Cilli were the owners, who died out, after which the castle fell into the hands of the troops of Emperor Frederick III in 1456. fell; However, it remains unclear whether the castle was already destroyed at that time or only in the 16th century.

Three courtyards
The castle complex is divided into three consecutive courtyards. From the former Altburg from the first half of the 12th century there are walls in the south of the complex around the inner courtyard, most of the recognizable components in the north-east of the complex (outer courtyard) date from the second half of the 13th century.

main tower
The formerly square keep (dating from the second half of the thirteenth century), the eastern part of which has broken off, is connected to the outer castle wall; On the west side of the first upper floor of the tower there is a pointed arched entrance gate, a bay window on the fourth floor can be seen on the south side, as well as a pointed arched window.

castle chapel
It stands in the outer courtyard: one enters a double chapel with a partially preserved semicircular apse, probably from the first half of the twelfth century, originally with a flat roof, later protected with a steep gable roof. In the lower chapel you can still see a ogival triumphal arch, whereas that of the upper chapel no longer exists. The choirs were vaulted and are now in danger of collapsing; there are two rose windows on the west wall.

Miscellaneous walls
Remains of residential buildings and defensive walls are still clearly visible.