Immerse yourself in the distant past in the exhibitions at Forchtenstein Castle.
Discover unique stories and objects around every corner at this historic site. Step into the inner courtyard for your first breathtaking surprise: the largest secco murals north of the Alps. Your tour of the castle begins with the oratory and the chapel on the first floor. Within the mighty walls of the stronghold you can explore over four hundred years of military history. The collection of weapons is one of Europe’s largest private armouries and offers insights into a long military tradition and the Esterházy family’s loyal service to the Habsburgs.
The second floor displays the rich variety of the collections. A multitude of portraits paint a picture of the Esterházy family history. Among them are images of fictional ancestors, including Attila the Hun, or Vlad the Impaler – the historical figure who inspired Count Dracula. These “ancestors” document efforts by the Esterházy family to bolster the legitimacy of their claims to a heroic and illustrious lineage. The cosmos of collections at Forchtenstein Castle furthermore includes Ottoman booty, in particular an ornate tent that is over four hundred years old. Other highlights of the displays are the three coronation flags dating from the 17th century. Finally, the exquisite art objects and astonishing rarities from the Kunstkammer (cabinet of curiosities) – mainly dating from the late 16th to the early 18th century – provide a fascinating insight into Prince Paul Esterházy’s passion for collecting.
Castle ticket with guided tour
Forchtenstein Castle, Burgenland’s imposing landmark and one of the oldest museum sites in Europe, has long served as a “strongbox” for the Esterházy princes’ exquisite treasures and as a depot for military equipment. Visit the armoury with its holdings that cover over four centuries of history. Further highlights on this tour include rarities and masterpieces from the Kunstkammer (cabinet of curiosities) and Ottoman booty. Areas like the kitchen and bakery convey an impression of daily life at the castle in the past. At the end of the tour, take a look down the well. A staggering fifty metres deep, it was once essential for survival at the fortress.