Hochosterwitz is an outstanding example of a medieval fortress and stronghold.

What makes the castle appear so strong is the obviously well suited position of the whole complex.

The winding access is blocked by 14 fortified gates and opens up at the armoury yard in front of the main castle. The 14 gates are the landmark of the castle. Only their extremely clever and technically correct construction made the castle impregnable as the enemy had to conquer gate by gate but was attacked from all sides at the same time.

The second path, called “fools stairs” leads over the steep and rocky west slope of the mountain. It was carved in the rock and allows entering the castle without passing the gates. These two defendable entries already existed in early times.

Characteristic for the 14th and 15th century are the square tower ”Bergfried” which originally controlled the entry into the castle yard and the protecting walls with battlements (Wintperge) when the crossbow was the main weapon.

A draw-well about 15m deep in the small courtyard of the main castle ensured the water supply. Because of its oversized square-stones it might originate from even more ancient times.

The small chapel with beautiful frescos and a typical Carinthian altar dated 1673 is situated on the north side of this courtyard.

The museum of the castle contains part of the weapons left by Napoleon as well as an arsenal of armoury, helmets, spears, lances, guns ect from various periods. The walls are decorated with portraits of Khevenhüller ancestor- and historical paintings. Documents showing the close relationship to the imperial family are also exhibited in the museum.

Explanation:

  1. Maultasch-Gasthof
  2. Alte Mühle
  3. Rossstall
  4. Hans-Khevenhüller-Haus
  5. Georgs-Weg
  6. Hans-Weg
  7. Christoph-Weg
  8. Pflegerhaus Keller
  9. Materialaufzug
  10. Gasthof Tatzer
  11. Kassa Souvenirladen
  12. Personenaufzug
  13. Burgrestaurant Hochburg
  14. Maultaschhügel
  15. Tiergarten
  16. Kuhstall
  17. Schweinestall