Welcome to the press page of the Museum in Schloss Stainz!

Here you find detailed information ans press images on current exhibitions and on the castle

With its splendid, Baroque abbey church, Schloss Stainz is the distinctive landmark of the rolling countryside around the market town of Stainz. Founded as an Augustinian Canons’ Monastery in 1229, the whole complex underwent extensive structural changes in the 17th century. In 1840 Archduke Johann acquired the Stainz demesne. He established here a model farm and had fruit and vineyards planted around the castle. Today, Schloss Stainz is owned by his descendants, the Meran family.


Image Credits


Karlheinz Wirnsberger, Leiter der Abteilung Schloss Stainz

Foto: Universalmuseum Joanneum / J.J. Kucek

Schloss Stainz exterior view diagonally,

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/Nicolas Lackner

Schloss Stainz inner courtyard,

Photo: Alexander Rauch/studio brighten

Schloss Stainz, exterior view

Photo: Alexander Rauch/studio brighten

Schoss Stainz,

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/N. Lackner

Schloss Stainz,

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/N. Lackner

Schloss Stainz,

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/N. Lackner

Schloss Stainz reflected

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/Nicolas Lackner

Schloss Stainz

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

Schloss Stainz,

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/Nicolas Lackner

About the Museums in Schloss Stainz

From May 2024, Stainz Castle will be home to three museums: the Agricultural Museum, the Hunting Museum and the Erzherzog Johann Museum. 

The Hunting Museum presents historical weapons, exhibits and works of art that illustrate the multi-faceted cultural history of hunting. The Agriculture Museum uses historical objects and interactive media stations to show the diverse development of agricultural and forestry work areas from pre-industrial times to the present day. Greater museum space in Schloss Stainz brings with it a cultural centre of excellence unique to Styria, showcasing the achievements of Archduke (ger: Erzherzog) Johann and the resulting impact on Styria. 

The Erzherzog Johann Museum

The museum opens May 11, 2024.

Greater museum space in Schloss Stainz brings with it a cultural centre of excellence unique to Styria, showcasing the achievements of Archduke (ger: Erzherzog) Johann and the resulting impact on Styria. In seven rooms covering an exhibition surface area of some 650 m² (not including traffic areas) on the second floor of Schloss Stainz, the Erzherzog Johann Museum uses many original objects to present the ideas, models, institutions, and difficulties, too, in the life of Archduke Johann. In this way, new perspectives on life in the 19th century are added to the myth that surrounds this personality. Visitors experience an exciting tour through a cultural history of Styria, featuring as yet unpublished original documents, paintings and watercolours, as well as digital copies and the most up-to-date methods of presentation.

Hunting Museum: Innovative presentation in historical walls

In several stages of construction an exhibition area of 1200m² was created, new depots built, the box-office and shop areas redesigned, and the administration area revitalised at Stainz Castle, that was built in 1695 and acquired by Archduke John in 1840. The innovative presentation not only fits in consummately with the historical setting of Stainz Castle, it also spotlights the long standing tradition of hunting in Styria, particularly the founder of the Joanneum, Archduke John, who was known as a passionate hunter and whose heirs now run Stainz Castle as a modern enterprise.

In addition to the permanent new display collection, Stainz Museum of Hunting would like to be a centre of competence for matters of hunting: along with future temporary presentations on this subject, specialists and interested visitors will also be able to take advantage of a study collection, educational and seminar offers, a specialised library and contemporary information media.

Dieter Bogner from bogner.cc, Gunther Greßmann (GWL), Armin Deutz (GWL; member of the board of the Styrian Provincial Hunting Association), and Karlheinz Wirnsberger, director of the hunting collection at Universalmuseum Joanneum, are responsible for the museum concept. Architect Georg Driendl from Vienna designed the new layout of the hunting collection at Schloss Stainz.

Wild hounds, belling stags, or: The cultural history of hunting

Eight rooms on the first floor of Stainz Castle are dedicated to the cultural history of hunting. Valuable exhibits from many different origins – Baroque animal paintings and magnificent courtly objects, ornate powder horns, but also everyday objects and wonder cures from folk medicine – illustrate the far-reaching effects that the cultural phenomenon of hunting has always had and continues to have on art, literature, music and film.

The exhibits at Stainz Museum of Hunting range from a Stone-Age spear thrower to ornate Imperial firearms, to a wide variety of hunting weapons. But not only weapons – customs and ways of life also tell us about the history of hunting: While finding food was top priority in the Stone Age, in courtly hunting it was above all the list of kills that counted. This era was marked by festiveness, extravagance and hedonism. Much later we come across the “lone hunter” and his counterpart, the poacher, who became a symbol of idyll, love of nature and rebellion against the authorities in literature, art and film. People’s view of nature, and thus their attitude towards hunting, changed profoundly in the Romantic period: issues of wildlife ecology were advanced for the first time, with (natural) experience, silence and naturalness gaining ground. The romantic hunter, perhaps most prominently represented by Archduke John – and later the middle-class hunter – was guided in his hunting habits by John’s respect of animals and nature, and often saw hunting as a way of experiencing nature in an intense way.

Not only people’s approach to hunting changed over the centuries, so did the various forms and techniques of hunting, and they are the subject of in-depth analysis at Stainz Museum of Hunting. Technical developments and innovations in hunting entered the realm of everyday life and also shaped people’s artistic views: To illustrate this, the Museum not only presents historical hunting tools but also paintings and original equipment such as magnificently adorned dog collars, a collection of weapons and an excellent falconry collection.

Then, as now, hunting is part of everyday culture and entwined with a wide range of customs. Ornate items of practical use and wonder cures from folk medicine testify to its mystical impo tance in superstition. Bear’s gall tincture, items of practical use decorated with stags, or – in recent history – films on this topic illustrate the general cultural and historical importance of hunting in the development and customs of humankind.