Hochosterwitz Castle (Austria)
Carinthia See list of castles in Austria
Burg Hochosterwitz is one of the most important Austrian medieval castles. It is close to Sankt Georgen am Langsee, in the District of Sankt Veit an der Glan in Carinthia Klagenfurt shortly after, along the old road that led to Vienna.
What is striking about this manor is the fact that rises suddenly in the green countryside of Carinthia perched on an isolated hill and visible from more than thirty kilometers away.
When the Romans advanced over the Alps and invaded the current Carinthia, they found themselves in front of this high rocky hill of conical shape that rose to more than 150 meters from the valley floor; on its summit was a temple of Celtic origin.
Place in a wide valley Control, north of Klagenfurt, the place became a Roman fort (Arx Taurisca) with exceptional natural defenses.
The site was mentioned for the first time in 860 in a deed of King Ludwig II of France with which gave some of his proprità at the Salzburg Bishopric. In the eleventh century the castle became a fief granted by the Archbishop of Salzburg Gebhard to the House of Sponheim as a result of the struggle for investiture. In 1209 the Counts of Sponheim Osterwitz give the family the hereditary post of cupbearer.
From this period dates the sull'assedio legend of the castle by Margaret of Tyrol, whose army was deceived and retired when the castle garrison slaughtered the last ox, filled it with wheat and threw it over the wall, pretending to have many supplies you can use them as projectiles. A similar legend I already told about the Predjama Castle in Slovenia.
In the fifteenth century, the last bearer Georg was captured during a raid Turkish prisoner and died in 1476 without heirs; The castle then passed into the hands of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III.
In the following decades the castle was seriously damaged by the Turks, October 5, 1509, Emperor Maximilian I gave the castle to Matthaus Lang, Bishop of Gurk, who undertook a major restoration project.
In 1541 the Emperor Ferdinand I gave the governor Hochosterwitz Cristof Khevenhüller. In 1571 the George Khevenhüller Baron bought the fortress and fortified it by building an arsenal and 14 doors dam on the only access route to making it in fact impregnable. Since then they have not made major changes.
Currently the castle is still in possession of Khevenhüller.
The tour begins from the ticket office located at the base of the hill. Immediately struck by the daring cable car that enables lazy to get to the top without addressing the only access road to the castle constantly steep.