Burg Kreuzenstein: A day trip out of Vienna
History of Burg Kreuzenstein
Burg Kreuzenstein (Kreuzenstein Castle) is located about 25 km north of Vienna. It is relatively new, built in the 19th century by Count Johann Nepomuk Wilczek over the ruins of an old castle. The first medieval castle on that place was constructed around 12th century. The present name of the Kreuzenstein castle most likely comes from the name of one of the first owners of the castle, Dietrich of Grizanestaine. In the 13th century the Habsburg took possession of Burg Kreuzenstein for the following 250 years. In 1645, during the last years of the Thirty Years’ War, after a siege the castle fell in the hands of the Swedish Field Marshal Count Lennart Torstensson. During the retreat of the Swedish army, the building was largely destroyed and then abandoned. The following decades brought nothing good to the castle and soon it sank into oblivion.
In 1702 through marriage Burg Kreuzenstein became a possession of a Polish noble family, Wilczek family. Unfortunately the castle spent almost two more decades in ruins until 1874, when Johann Nepomuk Wilczek decided to rebuild it. Johann was a chamberlain at the court of Emperor Franz Joseph I and he was one of the most famous aristocrats of his era. During the rebuilding of the castle, the existing ruins were incorporated in the new building and various original components were used. These components were collected from Wilczek during his research tours through Europe. This gave the authentic and interesting look of Burg Kreuzenstein. In the WWII the castle suffered from damages during the battle of Vienna. Later it was reconstructed. Nowadays the Kreuzenstein castle is sometimes used as a film location.
Tour of the castle
The castle can be visited only in a guided tour, which takes place on the top of the hour and lasts about 45-60 minutes. The tour is only in German. There are no audio guides, but only sheets with printed information about the castle. During the tour you will visit the Castle’s Kitchen, the Armoury, the Chapel, the Great Knight’s Hall, the Prince’s room and the Hunting room.
The kitchen can be accessed through the inner courtyard. You will find here a unique kitchen table made by a large solid 7.5 meter oak board, a hot air barbecue (designed by Leonardo da Vinci) and a spaghetti machine from 16th century. One of the largest private collections of historical weapons is presented in the Armoury. In the Chapel you will see a Gothic winged altar, composed of 47 original wooden panels, which date back to 15th century. You can see medieval furnishing in the Great Knight’s Hall and the Prince’s room. What will catch your site in the Prince’s room is the 500 year old bed with a dream board. The bed is surprisingly short, but it is typical for the Middle Ages, when the noblemen used to sleep in a sitting position. The dream board was used for recording dreams immediately after waking up. The walls in the hunting room are richly decorated with weapons and hunting trophies, including a horn of Narwhal (a souvenir brought from Wilczek from its polar expedition).
Tips for visiting Burg Kreuzenstein
- You have to wait for a guided tour. When the hour is close, the main gate will open and you can buy tickets from the cash desk located inside.
- No photos of the rooms are allowed, but only of the castle from outside and in the inner yard.
- There are falconry shows scheduled from 11:00 AM and 03:00 PM on the week days (except Monday) and from 11:00 AM, 02:00 PM and 04:00 PM on the weekends. The price is 9 EUR. More information you can find here.
How to get there
Take the suburban train (S-Bahn), line S3 (direction Floridsdorf) to station Leobendorf-Burg Kreuzenstein (about 30 min ride). You will need two single tickets of 2,20 EUR each (similar as going from the city to the airport). You have to validate them before boarding. If you have a weekly pass, you have to buy only one ticket for the area outside of Vienna. When you arrive at the station, head to the center of the town. After 1 km of walking you will see signs, leading to the castle and the castle itself is visible from a distance. The road to the castle continues through the woods. Just follow the signs and you won’t get lost. You will need about 30-40 minutes (2 kilometers) of walking to reach the castle.
Address: 2100 Leobendorf, Austria
Access: More info here.
Every day from April 1st to November 1st
From Monday to Saturday: 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Admission: 10 EUR
Web site: http://www.kreuzenstein.com
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