Saturday, 9 July 2016

Werfenstein Castle

Werfenstein Castle

Werfenstein is the ruin of a lowland castle in Upper Austria's Mühlviertel. It stands on the Danube in the village Struden in the municipality of St. Nikola an der Donau. In a siege of the castle, the besieged defenders protected the castle by throwing stones and gave the castle it's name.

The castle was built at a strategic location. It included also fortifications on the opposite island Wörth . If required, the Danube could be locked by chains that were stretched between two pillars. Downstream there were other, similar types of equipment.

The former ruins were removed in the early 20th century during the construction of Donauuferbahn.  Part of the curtain wall and the tower have been preserved. The tower-like corner of the main castle consists of layers masonry, others from rubble masonry . The west and south sides were added in the late Gothic period and then increased in size. The extensive dungeon was expanded in 1907, using the old door seven meters above the farmyard. The castle is 716 m².

The castle was first mentioned in 1234. It was constructed from 1272-1293 by Herwicus of Werfenstein and the followers of the Teutonic Knights. In 1294 it was besieged Duke Albrecht II for three weeks.  The nearby castles of Freienstein and Pain were also besieged. 

Between 1319 and 1320 the castle was occupied by Heinrich Payr Burggraf.  In 1416 the owner changed to Duke Albrecht, who was replaced in 1422 by Erhard Volkra. 

At the end of the 15th century the castle was abandoned after the Prueschenks in the newly built Greinburg had moved. By 1531 Werfenstein was roofless, and in 1645 a fire consumed the already ruined castle. In 1780 the Palas was demolished because the risk of collapse and the threat of a nearby road. By the end of the 19th century the castle belonged to the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  Werfenstein was not a complete ruin, but has been used repeatedly for residential purposes.

In 1907 it was acquired by Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels  and he ordered it rebuilt to "Ordensburg"  Extensively remodelled in accordance with esoteric design principals and occult theory, Werfenstein castle is a nexus of New Dawn activity.

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