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Castle Riegersburg

On a steep basaltic rock high above the Grazbach stream stands Schloss Riegersburg, a mighty medieval fortress, once Styria’s most easterly outpost against raiders from Hungary, and then Turkey, and, more recently, a German stronghold during World War II. The present castle dates from the 17th century. The fortress is surrounded and defended by a 3-km (2-mile) long wall with eleven bastions, seven gates and two moats, and can only be approached by a long steep climb. The castle buildings begin beyond the sixth gate. The first building is the former armoury with a collection of arms and war machines used in the defence of the fortress during a siege. In the courtyard stands a monument to soldiers killed during World War II. Beyond the second moat are the buildings of the castle proper, which houses a museum dedicated to the Liechtenstein family, now owners of the castle and who played an important role in the turbulent history of Austria and Europe. In the inner courtyard you will find a well surrounded by an intricate wrought-iron enclosure featuring a horseshoe. Is it said that those who succeed in tracing the horseshoe among the intricate decorations may count on good luck. The twelve castle rooms housing the Witches’ Museum are devoted to those horrendous times in medieval European history when many women (and some men) were tortured, burned at the stake and otherwise persecuted. The museum has many fascinating exhibits recounting the most gruesome of tales.

Castle Riegersburg Photo Gallery

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