In an idyllic and widely visible location, the picturesque Kreuzenstein Castle stands on a wooded hill directly above the village of Leobendorf, a few kilometers north of Vienna, between the towns of Korneuburg and Stockerau.
Its majestic position at 266 meters above sea level, in the immediate vicinity of the confluence of the Danube and the Vienna Woods, made the castle a mighty strategic fortification in previous centuries and especially in the Middle Ages. From here, the castle lords not only ruled much of the Tullner camp and the Korneuburg basin, but also overlooked the city of Vienna and large areas of Lower Austria.
Burg Kreuzenstein History
The great importance of the castle and its position have already been demonstrated by finds from prehistoric times: thousands of years ago there was a prehistoric bastion as a fortification on the site of the current position. According to research, the first medieval castle is believed to have been built in the early 12th century. The name "Grizanstein", mentioned for the first time around 1115 and from which the present Kreuzenstein derives, is likely to be traced back to one of the first lords of the castle, Dietrich von Grizanestaine, of the Bavarian Formbachers family. Croce di San Severino and make the name of the castle a legend shrouded in legend.
By marriage, Dietrich von Grizanestaines son-in-law Engelbrecht von Wasserburg became the new lord of Kreuzenstein, whose descendants owned the castle for over a century. In the middle of the 13th century Kreuzenstein came into possession of the Habsburgs, who for over 250 years administered the castle mainly from carers and bourgeois. The history of the castle was particularly eventful in the 16th and 17th centuries, with owners changing frequently: i.a. the Bohemian King Georg von Podiebrad (whose troops were commanded by Wenzel Wilczek, an ancestor of the current owners), Count Ferdinand von Hardegg, Baron Johann von Herberstein and Count Karl von Saint-Hilaire, who assigned the fortifications to the castle to time of the Thirty Years War he built one of the most important bastions at the gates of Vienna.
The darkest hour in Kreuzenstein's history occurred in the last years of the Thirty Years War in 1645: overwhelmed by the superior force of the Swedish army standing in front of Vienna, Colonel Luckas Spicker, the imperial commander of Kreuzenstein and Korneuburg , handed the castle over to the Swedish field marshal without a fight Lennart Graf Torstensson, who established his headquarters here. Pushed back by the Austrian troops of Archduke Leopold William, the castle was soon abandoned again by the Swedes and largely destroyed by explosions during the retreat. The remains of the ruins were used by the local population as building material in the following decades, so that very soon only a few remains were preserved such as parts of the curtain wall, the hull of the east tower and parts of the chapel.
As early as 1702, the ruins of Kreuzenstein came to the family thanks to the marriage of the last daughter of the Saint-Hilaire family to the subsequent imperial count and field marshal Heinrich Wilhelm von Wilczek. But it was only his descendant Johann Nepomuk Graf Wilczek, an important figure in Austrian artistic and cultural life as well as a major sponsor of science and non-profit institutions, who began to rebuild Kreuzenstein in 1874, transforming the castle into an extraordinary and one-of-a-kind museum. . of the Middle Ages as it appears today.
The castle tavern is located right next to the castle. Here you can enjoy delicious food, and let your mind wander in front of the wonderful view.