Updated: Apr 19
Join us for a visit to Burg Kreuzenstein in Leobendorf just north of Vienna, a restored medieval castle that you can see in the scenes of numerous films!
Burg Kreuzenstein was originally built by the counts of Formback in the 12th century on a hill 260 metres above the Danube. The Habsburgs' vassals governed it from mid 13th century but in 1645, the Swedes destroyed the castle almost completely, when Field Marshal Lennard Torstensson blew up the castle on his departure. For a long time, the ruins were used as construction materials in the villages around.
Reichsgraf and field marshal Heinrich Wilhelm von Wilczek acquired the castle in 1702 but it was only in the late 19th century that the current castle was rebuilt by Count Nepomuk Wilczek (known today as a cultural patron of his time and as one of the fathers behind the famous Rudolfinerhaus Hospital in Vienna). A unique museum of the middle ages today, Kreuzenstein is interesting in that it was constructed out of sections of medieval structures purchased by the family from all over Europe to form an authentic-looking castle. Thus, the castle can be considered both a 'neo-' and 'original' medieval structure.
Wilczek also acquired a large collection of medieval furnishings and historical artefacts, including one of the oldest surviving medieval catapults that was brought there from the Festung Hohensalzburg (see our separate review). After 30 years of work, the opening was attended by Emperor Wilhelm I on 6 June 1906, only to be looted by the Red Army in 1945.
Currently, the owner of the castle is Johan-Christian Count Wilczek. The museum has become known for serving frequently as a film scene. The castle can be seen in a large number of films - horror films in particular - starting from Das Miracle in 1912 till the most recent scenes of the Netflix series The Witcher in 2019, and dozens of others.
When you walk in, you will see why. The castle is a perfect home for horror stories with towers, stairs, corners and balconies providing room for ones imagination to fly!
During the tour you will see the castle’s kitchen with a table around which the building was constructed! You will also visit the chapel, the knights hall and the prince’s room with medieval furniture including a surprisingly small double bed!
The museum is open in the summer from 1 April till 31 October and you need to attend a guided tour always starting on the hour. Unfortunately, the museum is not suitable for visitors in a wheelchair or with a pram. There are numerous stairs and narrow passages that make it impossible to move around. There is no visitors' loo in the castle but there are two bajamaja loos outside the castle, unfortunately not suited for the handicapped either.
In front of the castle, there is restaurant Burgtaverne Kreuzenstein that is apparently furnished as a medieval tavern. During our visit in August 2022, it was closed.
There is no real museum shop but you can buy postcards and an odd book at the ticket desk.
After the visit to the castle, you might wish to check the falconry show, known as Adlerwarte Kreuzenstein which is located on the estate.
2100 Leobendorf bei Korneuburg, Austria