860 A.D.: The whole area was held by the Salzburg Archbishop. A certain Presbyter Erimbert, a feudatory of the Archbishop´s, made over the land on the river Pinka to his vasal the "miles" Jacobus. The place-name "Bernstein" was not jet used, but the old Slavonic name the nearby hamlet of Grodnau, which means "the village belonging to the castle" in the vicinity, and this have only could been Bernstein.

1199 -?: Micban de genere Akos is mentioned as the owner. The fortress belonged to Hungary.

? - 1234: Duke Friedrich II. of Austria was owner of the fortress.

1236: King Bela IV. of Hungary captured the fortress, and presented it

1260: to Count Heinrich II. of Guessing. This line who were descented from the counts of Wildon (Styria) hold the fortress until 1308. Iban II. taked the title "Count of Bernstein". At about this time the territorial magnates, including the feudal lord of the demense of Bernstein, were granted capital jurisdiction. This local jurisdiction, in both the higher and the lower degrees, subsisted until 1848. The pillory-post on the village square and the dungeons of the castle itself, with manaacles, rack and whipping-bench bear wittness to it.

1336: The counts of Guessing and Bernstein decisively were defeated by Charles Robert of Anjou, King of Hungary, and the fortress Bernstein was incorporated in the Hungarian crownlands.

1388: The Angevin dynasty gave the fortress in pledge to the Kaniszay family.

1482: The forteress was temporarely in possess of Mathias Corvinius, King of Hungary.

1487: Hans von Koenigsberg was given the fortress in pledge by the Austrian Emperor Frederick III.

1529: The Turks invested the fortress, but failed to take it.

1532: The Turhish army again unsuccessfully layed siege to the fortress. From now on, hectic building activity started: the castle was remodelled as a fortified place of refuge. A ring of huge remparts (at one place 120 ft high) encirceled the old gothic keep. The work carried out by the Pozzo-family, architects and builders living in Vienna, under their head Francesco Guiseppe, and was completed 1590.


1604: The fortress survived a siege of several weeks by a combined army of Hungarians, Turks and Tartars under Stephan Bocskay.

1617: A lightning ströke a tower in the keep and brought the powdermagazine to explosion. The keep was badly damaged, but the outer fortification was unharmed. The inner fortress was rebuilt by Ludwig Königsberg. The gothic structure had beeing remodelled in the baroque style in conformity with the taste of the period. The towers were removed.

1644: Count Ehrenreich Christph Königberg sold demesne and castle to Count Adam Batthyany.

1647: The eastern exremity of Austria, between river Danube and river Raab, was "re-incorporated" into Hungary.

1703: The southern portion of the castle was rebuilt by Adam Batthyany´s widow Lori Strattmann.

1864: Gustav Batthyany sold the Bernstein estate to his factor, the Irish Edward O'Egan.

1892: The O'Egans heirs sold the estate to Eduard Almásy.

1895: Laszlo Almásy, the real "English patient", was born in Bernstein castle.

1921: After WW I Western Hungary was annexed to Austria again, forming Burgenland, the newest state of the Republic of Austria.

1953: Since this year there is installed a residental hotel in parts of the castle.


15th - 21st of October 2018