Many legends and myths are woven around Kienburg Castle in East Tyrol, they tell about armoured knights and fire-spitting dragons.
Between Huben and St. Johann im Walde, in the municipality of Matrei in East Tyrol, the early medieval Kienburg is located in the eponymous district. It is a hill castle, located in the forest above the Iseltal valley and was mentioned for the first time around 1000 AD. The castle had a key position in the trade of the Iseltal, Defereggental and Kalsertal valleys.
Today, unfortunately only remains of the former knight’s castle are visible. Once the mighty Earls of Lechsgemünde inhabited the castle, in the following centuries, it changed hands a few times and was witness and centre of fight and devastation. Among the owners there were the Bishopric of Salzburg and Knight Earl Christoph von Kienburg. He was the last inhabitant of the castle when it was destroyed by a fire in 1579. In 1945, at the end of WWII, an American aerial bomb destroyed most of the still existing walls, so that only a ruin remained. Currently the ruin is being renovated to save it from the complete decay.
Today, the Kienburg Castle Ruin is in private hands, the surrounding is a restricted archaeological area. Below the castle, a pond and five more buildings are located. In one of them, the Kienburg Hay Bath can be found, known as a cure against skin and respiratory diseases. And still today, several legends grow around the once mighty castle, apparently a dragon is still living there…
Where: in the village of Kienburg, between Huben and St. Johann im Walde
Characteristics: ruin of an East Tyrolean hill castle from the 11th century
Further information: phone: +43 4875 68050
the ruin is currently being renovated