About Schloss Trautenfels

Trautenfels Castle with a blue sky in the background is Mount Grimming

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Landmark of the central Ennstal

As a landmark of the central Ennstal valley, Trautenfels Castle sits on a rock spur at the foot of the Grimming mountain. Founded by Archduke Johann in 1811, Trautenfels Castle museum is one of the latest locations to join Austria’s oldest and second largest museum complex, the Universalmuseum Joanneum, so renamed in 2009. The museum department of Trautenfels Castle is committed to the Joanneum’s mission statement and aims to“

[...] create a museum that stimulates, innovates, promotes research, communicates and maintains knowledge. We want a museum that helps to open up new perspectives, ask questions and offer an open space for discourse. We want to use the diversity of our museum to pave the way for subject-related and interdisciplinary action and also discuss current issues in a historical, scientific and artistic context.”


Miniature Universalmuseum

Serving as a showcase for the cultural and natural history of the District of Liezen, Trautenfels Castle is also known as a “miniature universal museum” due to the complexity of its collections, thematic focuses and special exhibitions.

The Landscape Museum, set up as a permanent exhibition, presents the cultural and natural history of the Styrian Ennstal valley and Ausseerland region in 13 kaleidoscopic rooms.

Discussions on specific regional topics provide contexts on a national and international level. In addition, special exhibitions allow us to present selected topics in an interdisciplinary manner, to carry out scientific work and to expand the collection on a topic-specific basis. In line with the complexity of the museum department, this has resulted in a multitude of interdisciplinary projects for special exhibitions. Participatory work and provenance research have been our top priority since the museum was founded.

Educational programmes for different target and age groups as well as themed tours encourage intensive discussions on various exhibition topics.

Association “Verein Schloss Trautenfels”

The association “Verein Schloss Trautenfels” has worked highly successfully ever since it was founded over 30 years ago. Originally established to rescue Trautenfels Castle from dilapidation, the association soon took an active part in the successful implementation of special exhibitions as well as the organisation of the castle’s complete refurbishment from 1990 to 1992.

According to the statutes of the association, its present purpose is to “promote the Museum Department Trautenfels Castle of the Universalmuseum Joanneum as a flourishing centre of culture and communication”, to “promote the research of cultural and natural history and to support cultural activities” as well as to “plan and implement cultural and educational programmes”. 

Over the years, the collaboration between the Universalmuseum Joanneum and the Verein Schloss Trautenfels association has not only proved to be fruitful during numerous research projects, but also with regard to the museum shop and a series of events.

Centre outside the centre

Ever since the Museum was founded, the people of the district of Liezen have actively participated in “their museum”. Hence, Trautenfels Castle has become an institution that is actively involved in history and which offers sufficient room to discuss, critically examine, process and preserve both the past and the present. As a museum and workshop for the future, Trautenfels Castle sees the identity of the district of Liezen as a dynamic and ongoing process. It therefore aims to combine historical aspects with certain elements regarding perspectives and future orientation, and to place them in a European context.

In our goals and visions, we see Trautenfels Castle as a multi-layered art and cultural location with an international reach, and as a museum that contributes to strengthening regional ideas in a local context for the future. The Museum’s development could be enhanced by staging pilot projects with exemplary character for Europe in order to establish the museum along with its unmistakable brand and authentic concept as a “centre outside the centre”, as a means to strengthen the rural area.

The future of the museum

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Museums For Future

The Museum Department Schloss Trautenfels wholeheartedly supports the Declaration of Museums For Future. Our goal is to provide visitors with food for thought on climate protection and to show new perspectives and alternatives for everyday action. As a museum, we engage with topics such as energy efficiency and sustainability and, based on our existing strengths, we continually strive to further improve and develop our careful use of resources. 

In our museum’s context, this means that we strive to reuse installations and structural elements that we already have for as many exhibitions as possible, including showcases, picture frames and technical devices such as monitors or projectors. We also take our inventory into account when designing new projects and install energy-saving lighting fixtures wherever possible.

Since February 2020, our entire building and archives are taken care of using eco-friendly, certified detergents and cleaning agents. Our cleaning contractor Reinigungfront GmbH was the first company in Austria to become “EU Eco Label”-certified, in line with the innovative “Green Front” concept. Since then, all biotechnological cleaning agents from this provider have now been awarded the EMAS & EU Eco Label certification.

Our journal “Da schau her. Kulturzeitschrift aus Österreichs Mitte” (Look at that! A cultural magazine from the heart of Austria) regularly features articles on nature conservation and climate protection. Furthermore, in a special issue on regional food security, we highlight how to find local sources of high-quality food in the District of Liezen.

Various institutions have devised a strategy called “Regional erzeugen – vermarkten – managen und kooperieren” (production, marketing, managing and cooperating on a local level), which will benefit the region’s future development as a whole. Their aim is to raise awareness for regional products and to promote locally produced food.

As employees of the Museum Department Schloss Trautenfels, we regularly take part in the “Grünes Museum” event series (hosted by the Deutsche Kongress) to ensure that we are as up-to-date as possible when handling valuable objects and engaging with people in the museum.

It is important to all of us to further develop the sustainability of our actions in daily museum operations and continue our efforts towards improving living conditions worldwide.

View of a room. In the room are erected tree trunks between them are showcases with animals, for example, a lynx and a fox.

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