On a steep cliff, encircled by a river, lie the magnificent remains of the medieval Kollmitz castle ruin. It was once the most important castle in Lower Austria. Built in the 12th century the castle was the property of various noble families. It changed hands several times until it became the seat of the Baron of Hofkirchen in 1411. His family’s rule ended in 1620, when the Protestants lost all possessions. By 1800 the castle was abandoned because it was no longer interesting for the owners as a residence. Much stone material was used earlier for the construction of the church and parish Grossau as well as for the construction of many houses in the immediate vicinity. Today, the main castle remained, as well as the cyclopean wall with two other round towers. Both towers of the main castle can be accessed without charge.
A special feature of Austrian castle construction is the castle’s “bohemian wall”. It was erected about 350 m to the northwest at a tactically favorable place with the inclusion of the natural rock formation for the extended protection of the front area.The approximately 108 m long, 1.50 m thick wall has a central projecting gate tower and at towers at both ends to prevent an eventual bypass by enemies.
Further information about Kollmitz castle ruin
Access to the ruin is possible all year round. A road leads up right to the semicircular gate tower with pointed arch gate. Inside there are some tables and benches and even a tiny playground for children. The ruin is well-kept and secured. Different parts like the towers are accessible by stairs and ladders. Be careful in some areas that are not secured (danger of falling!).There is also a free small museum about the life and work of the topographer Georg Matthäus Vischer and about the history of the castle. There is a small shop in the castle’s former stables.
For more information, please visit their website (in German).