Photographer's Note

Castle Schoenbuehel
Schloss Schoenbuehel was initially built in the early 12th Century by Marchwardus de Schhoenbuchele on a site where it is believed that a Roman fortress had stood many years before.

The Schloss's position on the top of a cliff leads to the assumption that de Schoenbuchele too had intended to build a fortress as well as a home, which could easily be defended against potential foes.

The Schoenbuchele family remained in possession of the Schloss for almost two hundred years, until the death of its last member, Ulrich von Schonpihel, in the early 14th Century. For a brief period the Schloss fell into the hands of Conrad von Eisenbeutel and subsequently in those of the Monastery (Stifft) of Melk. However the Abbot was soon forced to sell and it was so that in 1396 the fortress was taken over by the brothers Casper and Gundaker von Starhemberg.

For over four Centuries the descendents of Casper and Gundaker von Starhemberg took it upon themselves to enlarge and improve the Schloss. Amongst them was Bartholomeus von Starhemberg, who was one of the first members of the Austrian Aristocracy to convert to Lutheranism in 1482. This lead to a strong protestant tradition in Schoenbuehel which lasted until 1639 when Conrad Balthasar von Starhemberg converted back to Catholicism and as a sign of his commitment built the Servite monastery that neighbours the Schloss.

The most famous of the Starhembergs who owned the Schloss, however, must have been Ernst Ruediger who played a decisive role in defending the Austrian capital, Vienna, from Turkish invasion in the late 17th Century. It was his great grandson Ludvig Josef Gregor who finally sold the Schloss in 1819 to Count Franz von Beroldingen. It is, however, assumed that the last few Starhembergs who had owned the Schloss had not actually inhabited it. When Count Beroldingen bought it one could only see the tower, the chapel and the wing of the Schloss, and the inside had been totally abandoned. Nevertheless, he rebuilt the run down Schloss and made it inhabitable again.

In 1930 his great nephew sold the Schloss to Count Oswald von Seilern-Aspang who then lost it for a brief period to the Nazis and subsequently the Russians. However it was returned in 1955 and has remained in his family ever since

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Additional Photos by georg nowak (jurek1951) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2669 W: 162 N: 5788] (42198)
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