Lengberg Castle

Lengberg Castle is a castle in Tyrol, whose origins go back to the year 1190. It is now used by the integration of youth.


Lengberg Castle is situated on a small hill on the north side of the Drava valley in the municipality of Nikol village, near the Carinthian border; about 13 kilometers east of the regional capital Lienz East Tyrol.



The first written mention of the castle Lengberg is dated to the year 1190. At that time the castle Lengberg belonged to the dominion of the Counts of Lech Gemünde. This is a Swabian dynasty, whose family seat was situated at the mouth of the Lech river into the Danube.

Historians believe that that dynasty has built in the 12th century castle Lengberg to manage their possessions better. Considered architecturally it is at the former castle by a Romanesque building, consisting of a two-story palace with a 2.20 -meter-thick circular wall. Castle Lengberg had no keep, which suggests an administrative use of the building.

13th Century

1207 sold the then Count Heinrich von Lech Gemünde castle Lengberg together with the lordships to Matrei and Mittersill to the then Archbishop Eberhard of Salzburg. In the course of this purchase contract was agreed that Henry should keep alive the right of use of the three gentlemen.

After the death of Henry of Lech Gemünde 1212 the government came to Lengberg to the archbishopric of Salzburg ( worldly possessions of the archbishopric of Salzburg). The Archbishop sat then type a castle care, castle judge or castellan, who administered the government on behalf of the archbishop and said law. The resulting court Lengberg also received the lower courts. Over the next 150 years, several noble families alternated in nursing, ie the administration of the castle from.

15-16. century

In the second half of the 15th century the noble family of trench was transferred to the Office of the stone castle steward to Lengberg. In the years 1480-1485 major reconstruction work took place. Thus, the then castle care of Virgil castle moat Lengberg expand into a Gothic castle.

The former two-story castle was in the course of this conversion measures an additional floor, complemented by a west wing and the east wing one. In the so-called west wing a castle chapel was installed, which was dedicated to Saint Sebastian and Nicholas consecrated in 1485. The Church's consecration of the chapel was consecrated by the then Bishop of Caorle, Pietro Carolo performed. Were described this consecration and the subsequent celebrations of his former secretary Paolo Santo Nino in the travel diaries " itinerary ". Besides these main construction activities the defensive wall was additionally extended and expanded by a moat wall. The then lowered courtyard level had to be adjusted the castle gate. This sits deeper since then by about 3 meters.

After the death of Virgil's ditch the office of the castle steward or judge moved on to other noble families.

17-18. century

The following years saw more dreary from Burg Lengberg. Thus, there are numerous letters they exchanged from the time between castle care and Archbishop of Salzburg, where the issue was mainly monetary claims on the part of the castle steward for necessary renovations to the castle. End of the 18th century, the state of the castle was so unbearable for the then Judge Joseph Franz von Getzinger that he moved out of the castle in the below lying Getzenhof and henceforth held court there.

19th century

In the 19th century the owners of Castle Lengberg alternated. In the course of Reichsdeputationshauptschluss conclusion of 1803, the archbishopric of Salzburg was dissolved and converted into the Electorate of Salzburg. This meant for the court Lengberg and thus lock Lengberg that it was now part of the Electorate of Salzburg and was therefore handed over to the Habsburg Grand Duke Ferdinand of Tuscany. It belonged therefore to the House of Habsburg.

In the wake of the Napoleonic wars and the defeat of the Habsburg coalition against Napoleon Tyrol came to the newly founded Illyrian Provinces and thus under French administration. The court Lengberg, which had indeed still existed, has now been abandoned in 1812. The building castle Lengberg fell in the following years.

With the defeat of Napoleon in 1816, the Austrian government officially returned again. The 1812 abandoned court Lengberg but was not rebuilt; its area was combined with the Lienz district court and thus associated with the county of Tyrol.

From 1821 Lengberg castle is privately owned. On the one hand, it was used as an altar workshop, on the other hand as well as a hospital during the cholera epidemic of 1831st Despite many private proposals concerning the use of lock Lengberg (among other things wanted to Franz Clement set up a holiday home for children in Castle Lengberg ) succeeded to the Carinthian Landtag President Karl Count Lodrona Laterano, 1913 to acquire the lock.

20th century

1920 was able to purchase the dilapidated castle for sale of the Dutch banker Paul May. He left parts of the castle to renovate the extent that it was habitable again. The May family was, inter alia, friend of the Dutch royal house, so that the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina temporarily stayed on his summer retreat in Lengberg.

In the course of Austria's annexation to Nazi Germany, the possessions and thus lock Lengberg the May family were dispossessed and subordinated to the German Reich. To what extent was the castle now used, is not known. Only in the year 1945, the castle was used as a base by the British occupation forces. In 1948 the castle was eventually refunded his real owner, the Dutch family May.

1956 finally sold the family May the dilapidated and badly damaged lock on the state of Tyrol. In the same year the Tyrolean Parliament decided to leave the building castle Lengberg the social club building of youth to carry out its duties. Lengberg Castle, which was a renovation at this time, was set using many volunteers repaired. As part of these renovations, the existing chapel was demolished in the west wing of the palace and replaced by a kitchen. As a substitute, a new chapel by the architect Hubert Völlenklee in the basement - in the former feed room - set up and inaugurated. Völlenklee has also adorned the front wall of the sacred space with a large fresco. It shows the death of St. Sebastian and its Katakombengrab.

After these renovations Castle Lengberg first served as a youth hostel. Later this building of the Agricultural School stood as accommodation available.

The earthquake in 1976 caused major damage to the building, so again renovation work had to be carried out.

Apart from the actual use by the construction of the youth, castle Lengberg was also the venue of the Cultural Days to 800 - year celebration of the castle.

2008 finally launched, funded by the State of Tyrol general refurbishment. The whole castle was developed barrier-free and extended by an additional building on the castle wall. All remodeling, renovation and restoration work was carried out in coordination with the Federal Monuments Office. In this context, archaeologists from the University of Innsbruck in a vault spandrel filling could hold valuable finds from the period from the 14th to the 18th century. Several datable to the 15th century by the C14 method bra show, Neither coins, playing cards, various glasses, ceramics and the remains were next to a medieval single-handed flute, which can be visited at Castle Lengberg found items of clothing that are revolutionizing the history of clothing the existence of bras long before the (previously adopted ) invention in the 19th century! After the conversion, the lock is re- used and inhabited since January 2010 by the participants and staff of the integration of youth.