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Eine Burg auf einem Hügel bei Sonnenuntergang

The castle

One thousand years
of history

The first stone walls were built in the 12th century. For a long time the castle served to protect the poplulation from invading enemies. In the 17th century the defensive structures became obsolete due to new methods of warfare and so they were turned into a natural garden, which today is the oldest of its kind in Burgenland.

Unwavering through
the course of time

Bernstein Castle was besieged, conquered, sold, neglected and burned down, but every time something new and larger grew from the ruins. The last time Bernstein Castle fell to an hostile army was in 1445, every since then it resisted each attack. The gorgeous garden within the castle´s walls is perfect for a relaxed stroll without leaving the stronghold.

Ein Flaneur im Burggarten Blick auf die Gartenmauern

Follow the trails
of the
"English Patient"

The most famous resident of the castle was László E. Almásy, whose adventures became the blueprint for the book and film "The English Patient", which was awarded with 9 Oscars in 1997, including "best film". You can learn more about the true story of László Almásy at one of our guided tours, which we offer Wednesday to Sunday at 11 am (May to October).

Ein Schwar-Weiß Foto von Ladislaus Almásy in der Wüste
Ein antiker Schlüssel, der in einem Schloss steckt

The Chronicle

History in numbers

Many families have lived within these walls. Sometimes taken by force, but the transition was also often conducted peacefully when the father passed it on to his son or the castle was soldd to a different noble family. You can find a short summary of the events here:

1236

Erste Erwähnung

Der ungarische König Bela IV übergibt die Burg an Ivan von Güns als Kompensation für anderweitige Verluste.

1260

Real robber barons

The castle is "famous" for being the hideout of robber knights and is - if possible - avoided.

1445

Pawned

The important family "Königsberger" receives the castle from Emperor Friedrich III. Renovations begin immediatly and a second wallring is being built.

1617

Lightning & Thunder

A flash of lightning hits the gunpowder storage. The following explosion makes a large part of the castle uninhabitable. The Königsberger family has to sell the castle.

1644

Pelicans & Lions

The famous "Batthyány" family, whose coat of arms is decorated with a pelican, buys the castle and starts to rebuild.

1704

Besiegement

After the Turkish wars are over, other enemies show up on the horizon. The widow Eleonore Batthyány is in charge of the garrison.

1892

Sold - to the highest bidder

Eduard Almásy moves with this whole family from Török St. Miklos (Hungary) to Bernstein and starts to modernize the castle. Electric cables and water pipes are being installed.

1922

The first guests

Ever since this year (with the interruptions of World War II) the Almásy family has been hosting guests at Bernstein Castle from all over the world.