Situated in the heart of the Mostviertel and in the immediate vicinity of the world heritage site of the Wachau region, the Schallaburg is an imposing, 1000-year-old piece of art. From the oldest preserved components from the 11th century to its expansion into a Renaissance château in the 16th century, the Schallaburg represents an impressive, complete artwork. Many generations of aristocratic owners have left behind a rich cultural heritage, which still captivates us up to this day.

With its unique combination of different architectural styles dating back to medieval times, a visit to the Schallaburg truly is a journey through time. Its oldest medieval building, a thousand-year-old masonry structure, built stone by stone for the protection and defence of the surrounding villages, rises up protectively in front of the Renaissance castle. The Romanesque chapel and a gothic crypt enrich the impressive range of architectural styles.

The expansion of the castle complex into a Renaissance castle from 1540 to 1600 took place in several stages. The greatest artistic achievement of this construction phase are undoubtedly the well-known terracottas consisting of 1,700 hand-crafted pieces. Inspired by a longer stay in upper Italy, its most influential owner, Hans Wilhelm von Losenstein, converted the Schallaburg into a fantastic Renaissance palace including the garden and its outbuildings, some of them unique in Europe!

In the 16th century, Martin Luther’s ideas rapidly spread throughout the Habsburg sovereign lands. The Losensteiners soon adopted the Protestant faith, in defiance of the laws of the Catholic sovereigns. The subsequent struggle to attain free practice of religion was also a protest by the nobility against the Habsburgs’ absolute claim to power. A patron of the Protestant religion, Hans Wilhelm von Losenstein, founded the Hohe Schule (“High School”) near the church of Loosdorf to educate the noble youth. It was centuries ahead of its time, especially in terms of its educational methods.

However, in the first half of the 20th century, the Schallaburg and its estates saw a steady decline in the wake of two world wars, the Great Depression, and the poor economic performance of its last owners, the Tinti family. It was sold to the State of Lower Austria in 1967. Restoration work started in June 1968 and lasted until 1974. Because of the great success of the first Renaissance exhibition in 1974, the Schallaburg established itself as a major exhibition centre in Lower Austria.


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