Kienburg Castle (Burg Kienburg)


Description of Kienburg Castle

Castle Kienburg (derived from the old German word "bold") is the ruin of a hilltop castle in East Tyrol on the southern edge of the Iseltal and lies between Huben and Sankt Johann in the woods in the village Kienburg, about halfway from Lienz to Matrei on a rocky hill.



The castle was first mentioned around the year 1000. Owners were the Counts of Lechsgemünd. In 1212 she came to the Bishopric of Salzburg. Ownership and interests brought war and devastation to the castle in the mid-13th century. Philipp von Spanheim, Archbishop of Salzburg, was in conflict with Emperor Frederick II. Fearing that his troops would invade the Enns Valley, the Archbishop took the imperial castles as a preventive measure. Count Meinhard III. von Gorizia, who was on the emperor's side, then attacked Matrei and Virgen three times and plundered the villages. In 1252, the conflict was finally settled by the Treaty of Lieserhofen, through which the Virgen Fortress went to Salzburg and Matrei Castle had to be returned. However, the Kienburg remained controversial in the years that followed and kept changing hands.

The castle existed until 1579. Around this time, a fire destroyed the robber baron's castle, after which it became uninhabitable and the last knight (Count Christoph von Kienburg) abandoned it. The area later became Austrian national territory until it became privately owned by the Wanner family in 1825 and finally on October 1, 1936 by the Stocker family. At the end of the Second World War in 1945 a bomb dropped by an American plane fell on the castle ruins and destroyed the main part including the tower. The ruin is currently being renovated to stop the decay.



The floor plan of the Kienburg consists of a courtyard surrounded by a curtain wall in the south and the residential wing projecting from the Bering in the north. The wall itself consists of laid quarry stone with opus spicatum layers inserted. It most likely dates from the 12th century.

Todays use
The property is privately owned by the Stocker family. Forestry is the main activity on the approximately 103-hectare area. In addition to the castle ruins on a hill, there are five other buildings and a natural pond. Below the buildings is the so-called hay bath, a wellness facility designed by Ferdinand Stocker Sr. is operated.