At Virgen in East Tyrol, there is one of the highest-located castle complexes of East Tyrol: Rabenstein Castle.
At Virgen, above the hamlet of Mellitz, the castle ruin of Rabenstein stands on a steep forested hill at 1,410 m asl. Constructed in the 12th century, it perfectly suits its rough and steep surroundings. The hill has probably already been inhabited in the Roman period, which had been testified by findings of Roman coins. "castrum Virge" was mentioned for the first time in 1271 AD, the name "Rabenstein“ has come into being in the 15th century. Castel Rabenstein used to be in possession of the curator, up to 1703 when he transferred to the village and left the castle fall into decay.
With an impressive surface of 4,800 sqm, the castle is the third largest Mediaeval castle complex of Tyrol. When several decades ago large parts of the castle collapsed, several comprehensive safety measures have been implemented. Thanks to these measures, parts of Rabenstein Castle can still be admired today. In the castle chapel, of which the northern façade is still preserved, you can admire wall paintings of the 14th century. The chapel is dedicated to St Leonard.
Protected by a roof are, however, the remnants of the "Pfaffenstöckl", an annex to the circular wall. The first floor hosts full-screen frescoes that are still partially preserved. Of the most ancient part of the castle, the residential quarters, only the basic murals have been preserved. And how to get to the castle? Mellitz can be reached on a road, from this place a hiking trail takes to the ruin. Enjoy visiting this fortress!
Freely accessible in summer, sturdy shoes are recommended in winter.