History of Schloss Trautenfels

Beginnings in the Middle Ages

1261: First mentioned in the records as Burg Neuhaus (castrum novum [= new castle] in the Enns Valley).

1282: Burg Neuhaus passed into the possession of the Archbishop of Salzburg by way of exchange for Burg Strechau. The castle was reconstructed after having been reconquered and destroyed in battles against the Duke of Styria at the end of the 13th century.

1460: Wolfgang Praun of the Hallinger family (= influential leaseholders of the brine boiling pans), who was appointed as pfleger (ruler of the castle), is expressly described as Herr (Lord) of Neuhaus in the records.

1493–1594: The ownership of the castle passed to the Hoffmanns who were one of the most powerful and wealthy Styrian noble families as well as staunch and hugely influential supporters of the Protestant faith. Neuhaus developed into a centre of the Reformation in the Enns Valley. The castle was duly extended.

1574: The Hoffmanns erected an Evangelical Church that was demolished by the Reformation Commission as early as 1599. Located within 20 minutes’ walking distance towards the Grimming mountain, the foundations of the church, which were excavated in 1992, now serve as a memorial to commemorate those turbulent times.

The foundations of the church, which was destroyed by the Reformation Commission in 1599, were excavated by archaeologists in 1992, and the remains of the walls were extended and preserved. Today, the park-like memorial invites visitors to reflect and meditate under the motto "Remember, but forgive".
Photo: Wolfgang Otte

1594/1600–1652: The Protestant Praunfalk family was initially holder of pledge and later owner of Neuhaus before going into exile to Nuremberg on religious grounds.

Photo: Archive of Schloss Trautenfels

Baroque Period

1664: Count Siegmund Friedrich von Trauttmansdorff acquired the building, converted and refurbished it, naming it Trautenfels. Carpoforo Tencalla painted the high-quality frescoes on the second floor and in the castle’s chapel around 1670, while Alessandro Sereni created the stuccos. The Trauttmansdorffs owned the castle until 1815.

Quartering with heart-shaped shield split into a red and silver half divided by a two-coloured six-petalled rose. 1: three silver slanting bars on red; 2 and 3: in columns, three adjoining red triangles on silver; 4 half split and divided between red, silver and gold.
Photo: Ernst Reichenfelser
Photo: Ernst Reichenfelser

The 19th century

1878: Count Josef Lamberg finally bought the property after the castle had changed hands several times. His wife Anna’s dowry, daughter of Steyr-based armaments manufacturer Josef Werndl, together with his own fortune, enabled him to renovate the rather neglected castle and furnish it comfortably.

The 20th century

1904: After the Count’s death, his widow Countess Anna Lamberg-Werndl managed the estate. During the interwar years, however, growing economic problems began to severely affect the castle’s proper maintenance.

Photo: Archive of Schloss Trautenfels

1941: With the help of her four adult children, Countess Anna Lamberg-Werndl sold the castle to German Reichspost. Due to the war however, the planned training centre for executive staff, including the international centre for communications engineering and the European Post Association were never realised.

1945: After the collapse of National-Socialist rule, the British Occupation Forces in Austria ran the German-owned building. During the first post-war years, the castle served additionally as temporary accommodation for up to 300 refugees. Subsequently, the Republic of Austria became owner of the building complex.

1950: The Styrian Youth Hostel Association moved into the castle, using the rooms on the ground floor, intermediate floor and third floor.

Photo: Karl Haiding

1951: The Province of Styria rented the representation rooms on the first floor of the building and commissioned Karl Haiding to develop a museum for the District of Liezen. Prior to special exhibitions, he collected objects and documentation on the topics of beekeeping and gingerbread making, forestry and timber and Alpine pasture farming in Styria.

Photo: Archive of Schloss Trautenfels

1959: The Republic of Austria sold Schloss Trautenfels together with its grounds for a token sum of 750,000 Schilling, “donating” it, as it were, to the Youth Hostel Association on the condition that the new owner would be obliged to renovate the bastions. That renovation work was carried out from 1960 to 1962.

1959: The Heimatmuseum was officially opened on 9th August as a local museum for the District of Liezen and as a department of the multidisciplinary museum Joanneum (founded by Archduke Johann in 1811). In 1971, Schloss Trautenfels was renamed “Landschaftsmuseum Schloss Trautenfels” and since 2011, the Museum Department is called Schloss Trautenfels. The permanent exhibition continued as a Landschaftsmuseum.

Photo: Nicolas Lackner

1982: Despite the youth hostel’s high popularity (up to 30,000 overnight stays per year), growing financial problems and urgently required repairs to the roof, façade and interiors resulted in the hostel’s closure. The boarding school for agriculture and forestry, which had been housed in some parts of the building complex since 1969, relocated to Gröbming.

Photo: Archive of Schloss Trautenfels

1982: A Rescue Committee for Schloss Trautenfels formed around Museum director and initiator Volker Hänsel and the Verein Schloss Trautenfels association was constituted in December 1983. Regional politicians supported the preservation of Schloss Trautenfels as a “national and international cultural centre with a museum for the District of Liezen”.

1983: The municipality of Pürgg-Trautenfels purchased the castle for a token sum of one Schilling with the aid of the Province of Styria. The municipality then leased the castle to Verein Schloss Trautenfels, which aimed to renovate and maintain the castle as well as to promote and support the Landschaftsmuseum Joanneum.

1984–1989: In order to literally “rescue the castle from dilapidation”, urgently needed renovation work to the roof, façade and windows were funded and implemented through subsidies and donations.

Photo: Archive of Schloss Trautenfels
Photo: Archive of Schloss Trautenfels

1990–1992: Schloss Trautenfels was chosen to stage the Styrian Provincial Exhibition Lust und Leid. Barocke Kunst, barocker Alltag (Joy and Sorrow. Baroque Art, Baroque Life). The necessary funding for the building’s total renovation and a modern infrastructure concept for the Museum and exhibition area was released. The castle’s complete refurbishment was planned and implemented in 20th century-style by architect Manfred Wolff-Plottegg in collaboration with the Federal Monuments Office and the clients.

1992: Layers of colour began to emerge in the course of renovation work on the intermediate floor. From 1997 to 1999, those 16th century murals were uncovered. The so-called “frescoed room” was then made accessible to the public.

Photo: Ernst Reichenfelser

1994: The municipality of Pürgg-Trautenfels let Schloss Trautenfels to the Province of Styria – Landesmuseum Joanneum.

1998: Opening of the new Landschaftsmuseum featuring 13 topical rooms arranged in the form of a kaleidoscope presenting the cultural and natural history of the Styrian Enns Valley and Ausseerland.

2006–2007: Woodland on the castle hill was cleared, revealing the whole complex with its impressive bastions and the castle’s base wall masonry, and thus restoring a historically significant situation.


2007–2010: A large section of the south-western bastion collapsed, leading to a structural investigation of the entire wall and subsequent closure of the access road for safety reasons – necessitating the construction of a temporary access road. Following funding approval by the Provincial Government of Styria in 2009, a comprehensive restoration was undertaken, and structural security established by means of self-supporting ground anchors in order to preserve the historical building fabric, ultimately. By night, outdoor lighting additionally accentuates the historical building as a visual landmark.

The 21st century

2015: In the course of the communal structure reform, the municipalities of Pürgg-Trautenfels and Stainach merged to form Stainach-Pürgg, which now possesses Schloss Trautenfels. The new municipality lets the building to Universalmuseum Joanneum, which is responsible for the maintenance and administration of the building. The whole castle is used as a museum and for cultural events and is accessible to visitors in its entirety, including the watchtower.

As a stunningly multifaceted location of art and culture whose collections encompass more than 40,000 artefacts, Schloss Trautenfels, a department of Universalmuseum Joanneum, stands for the history, culture and natural environment of the District of Liezen. Discussions on specific regional topics lead to contexts on a national and international level.

Photo: Christoph Huber

Schloss Trautenfels

Trautenfels 1
8951 Stainach-Pürgg, Österreich
T +43-3682/222 33
trautenfels@museum-joanneum.at

 

Opening Hours
13. April to 31. October Mon-Sun, public holidays 10am - 5pm
04. April 2020 to 31. October 2020 Mon-Sun, public holidays 10am - 5pm