The Riegersburg

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The impenetrable fortress

The fortress Riegersburg
The fortress Riegersburg

Riegersburg fortress is a true landmark of east Styria. The fortress has never been conquered in its 850 year history and was therefore known as the strongest fortress in the western world. Today you can visit the proud fortress and the museum it houses.

Seen from below, the fortress appears to have been carved straight from the steep rock face on which it rests. From this angle and given its powerful fortifications, it is easy to see why assailants always failed to seize the fortress.

Conquer the fortress

The fortress can be accessed via the footpath on the north sides (approx. 40 mins), as in the olden days. But although this route is challenging, the experiences you will have along the way make it worthwhile.  The historic path weaves its way through seven castle gates and is dotted with fortification walls equipped with endless crenels.

You can also take the inclined lift up to the castle for a more comfortable journey of around 90 seconds.

Fortress museum

Fortress museum at Riegersburg
Fortress museum at Riegersburg

The Riegersburg is shrouded in myths, legends and eerie tales. Many of the rooms have been dedicated to exhibitions which offer interesting and exciting information about the fortress and its residents.

  • Fortress exhibition – ‘Legendary Riegersburg – legendary women’
  • Witches and wizards
  • Weapons exhibition – ‘Weapons at the Riegersburg’ (new from 2013)

Daily tours are offered in July and August but the fortress is otherwise closed on Sundays and public holidays. You can also visit the museum and exhibition without taking a tour.

Admire the stately arcades of the inner courtyard and the grand rooms. The highlight is the knights’ hall dating from 1600 with its richly decorated wooden doorways and magnificent coffered ceiling.

History

The first documented reference to the Riegersburg was in 1138. The fortress was re-developed in the style of the late Renaissance during the late 16th century. In 1648, the castle fell under the ownership of Baroness Elisabeth Katharina von Galler. The baroness was exceptionally emancipated for her time and had the fortress extended at vast expense to transform it into the ‘strongest fortification in Christendom’ and the largest Baroque fortification in the land.

Falconry presentations

The Riegersburg raptor centre runs educational and exciting events. During these presentations, visitors can watch eagles, falcons, kites, vultures and numerous fledglings carrying out their aerobatic manoeuvres. 

You can sample some tasty Styrian and Austrian seasonal cuisine at the tavern accompanied by a glass of the fortress’s own wine.

Visitors who fancy trying out climbing can combine a cultural excursion to the fortress with a visit to the climbing and adventure park just below the Riegersburg.

The Riegersburg in the neighbouring state of Styria is just 40 km away from Stegersbach. It is worth planning a trip or two during your thermal spa break in south Burgenland in order to see more of your holiday region. The team at the Larimar thermal spa hotel in Stegersbach would be happy to provide you with more information about the excursions and activities on offer. We would gladly reserve a suitable room for you – just send us a non-binding enquiry!

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