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.


Castle Kienburg was first mentioned around the year 1000. Owners were the counts of Lechsgemünd. In 1212 its ownership was transferred to the capital Salzburg. Philipp von Spanheim, Archbishop of Salzburg, was in conflict with Emperor Frederick II. As he feared the invasion of his troops into the Enns Valley, the archbishop constructed several castles. Count Meinhard III Gorizia, who stood on the side of the Emperor, then attacked Matrei and Virgen three times and plundered the villages. In 1252 the conflict was finally settled by the Peace of Lieserhofen, through which the fortress Virgen went to Salzburg and Castle Matrei had to be returned. However, the Kienburg remained controversial in the aftermath and changed hands owners again and again.

The castle Kienburg existed until 1579. Around this time, a fire destroyed the robber baron castle, whereupon it was abandoned uninhabitable and by the last knight (Count Christoph von Kienburg). The area was then later Austrian territory until it became the private property of the Wanner family in 1825 and finally became the property of the Stocker family on 1 October 1936. At the end of the Second World War, a bomb dropped by an American plane in 1945 fell on the ruins of the castle, destroying its main body and the tower. The ruin of the former castle is currently being renovated to stop the decay.