Castle Hochosterwitz

A fortress with history

The first documentary mention dates back to 860. The Spanheimers granted the Osterwitz family the hereditary office of cupbearers in 1209. The last Schenk von Osterwitz was captured during a Turkish invasion in 1475 and died in captivity without heirs. Hochosterwitz reverted to the sovereign, Emperor Frederick III. King Ferdinand I pledged Osterwitz to the governor, Christof Khevenhüller; in 1571 Georg Freiherr von Khevenhüller, also governor, purchased the castle, expanded it due to the threat of Turkish invasions, provided it with an armory and had the 14 gates built in the years 1570 - 1586. A castle path secured in so many ways is not only one of the rarest, but is also unique in castle construction. An old document records the names of the individual gates.


No significant structural changes have been made since this time. The castle has been owned by the Khevenhüller family without interruption to this day. In a decree made by the owner, Georg Khevenhüller, in 1576, which can be read on a marble plaque in the castle courtyard, a bequest was made that the castle should remain in the possession of his descendants and that they should ensure its preservation. The Khevenhüller family has always felt committed to this legacy.


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Burg Hochosterwitz | © Gert Steinthaler/Kärnten Werbung