Schloss Weissenstein Matrei Wald
Schloss Weissenstein Matrei Wald

Weissenstein Castle

Weissenstein Castle in Matrei was - such as other castles in East Tyrol - in the possession of the Counts of Lechsgemünde.

Just at the Felbertauern Road, north of Matrei in Osttirol, Weissenstein Castle (Schloss Weissenstein) dominates the valley basin. The castle complex dates back to the 12th century and received it's present name in the 14th century, probably from the steep Dolomite marble rock on which it is located. Until then it was simply called "Matrey Castle".

Such as other castles in East Tyrol - among them Lengberg Castle - also Weissenstein Castle was in the possession of the Counts of Lechsgemünde. Around 1470, Leonhard von Keutschach expanded the castle and strengthened the fortifications. After the administration was relocated to the Matrei, the property decayed and was partly used as a poorhouse. Its current shape has been characterised by renovations in the 19th century: In 1864 it was restored based on the models of English castles of the historicism with a gorgeous castle park. Shortly afterwards it was rebuilt into a romantic château and used as a plush hotel before it was sold on in 1921.

The oldest part is the "Seinzgerturm" tower, once a prison. Of particular note is the St. Laurentius Chapel with its beautiful frescoes on the external wall, done by Simon von Taisten. Its valuable inventory was stolen in the 17th century. In 2016, interior spaces of the castle were devastated by vandals. Today, Weissenstein Castle is in private possession and can only be viewed from outside.

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