Austrian castles and palaces

The halls of some of these magnificent palaces still seem to echo with the footsteps of the kings and emperors who lived there; others are veritable art museums or fortresses that were never conquered. This gallery pays tribute to past glories.

Each of the castles and palaces dotted across Austria has its own particular story and its own particular points of interest. Whether it surveys the city below from atop a limestone outcrop, boasts a tragic history, or is the home of legends... Some are famed for their architecture, the elegant gardens or for modern refurbishment and transformation into museums and cultural centres. Vienna, Bungerland, Carinthia, Lower or Upper Austria, Salzburg, the Tyrol..., whichever region you choose to visit, you'll find yourself within reach of a number of these magnificent monuments. We've chosen some of the most spectacular to give you a hint of Austria's treasures.

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Rappottenstein castle, Austria
The castle of the picturesque village of Rappottenstein is located on a wooded hill above the river Kleiner Kamp. The castle originally dates from the twelfth century, but much of what remains today is from the sixteenth century when it was enlarged. Today it houses a museum of local history / © Österreich Werbung / Simon 

Porcia Castle, Spittal, Austria
Spittal's Porcia Castle is said to be the home of the ghost of the White Lady – the ruthless Lady Katharina of Salamanca. Despite the phantom, the beautiful rooms and gardens provide a backdrop for many cultural and social events / © Österreich Werbung / Trumler 

Riegersburg Castle, Austria
Through its 850 year history, the impregnable castle at Riegersburg has never been conquered; it is set nearly 500 metres up on a rocky outcrop, which affords it a wonderful view over the valleys, forests and vineyards of the southeast of Styria / © Österreich Werbung / Herzberger 

Ambras Castle, Austria
The Spanish Hall of the Renaissance Ambras Castle, near Innsbruck in the Tyrol, is 43 metres in length and houses 27 full-length portraits of the rulers of the Tyrol / © Österreich Werbung / Trumler 

Hochosterwitz Castle, Austria
This apparently small gateway leads to Hochosterwitz Castle in the region of Carinthia, one of the most impressive in Austria. The fortress is set high on a limestone rock and the walls command a 30-kilometre radius view all around / © Österreich Werbung / Diejun 

Mauterndorf castle, Austria
The castle of the medieval village of Mauterndorf in Salzburg was once a toll station on the mountain road over the Alps and today makes for an attractive family visit / © Österreich Werbung / Salzburger Burgen / S / B 

Kufstein fortress, Austria
The majestic twelfth century fortress of Kufstein, with the imposing Emperor's Tower, is the emblem of this picturesque town in the Alps / © Österreich Werbung / Mallaun 

Eggenberg Palace, Austria
The Baroque Palace of Eggenberg, one of the oldest in Austria is, along with the historic centre of Graz, the city where it is located, a UNESCO World Heritage Site / © Österreich Werbung / Pigneto 

Kreuzenstein castle, Austria
Although the origins of castle at Kreuzenstein date back to the twelfth century, the current building is a splendid Romanesque-Gothic monument / © Österreich Werbung / Bohnacker 

Ambras Castle, Austria
Ambras Castle is one of the most important historical monuments of the Tyrolean capital. Its cultural and historical importance is linked to the Archduke Ferdinand II, patron of the arts and sciences and the moving force behind the magnificent collections of Ambras / © Österreich Werbung / Diejun 

Hellbrunn Palace, Austria
The fountains and water features in the gardens of Hellbrunn Palace are the main attraction of one of the most important examples of Renaissance architecture north of the Alps / © Österreich Werbung / Diejun 

Heidenreichstein Castle, Austria
A drawbridge leads to the entrance of the imposing castle of Heidenreichstein, which is surrounded by water / © Österreich Werbung / Popp Hackner 

Castle Herberstein, Austria
Set in the wild and romantic countryside of Feistritzklamm, Castle Herberstein is one of the best known of the many Austrian castles / © Österreich Werbung / Popp Hackner 

Schoenbrunn Palace, Austria
Schoenbrunn Palace, the former imperial residence of the Viennese court, is one of the most important buildings of the great Austrian historical and cultural heritage / © Österreich Werbung / Horvath 

Tratzberg Castle, Austria
The courtyard of Tratzberg Castle is a marvellous reflection of the spirit of the Renaissance, during which period the castle was acquired by a wealthy merchant of Augsburg who extended and altered the original building which had been damaged by fire / © Österreich Werbung / Bohnacker 

Landeck castle, Tyrol, Austria
The castle at Landeck, in heart of the Tyrol, is a symbol of the city. It houses a museum, temporary exhibitions and hosts numerous events such as concerts, theatrical performances, film screenings and activities for children / © Österreich Werbung / Mallaun 

Schloss Hof, Vienna
Schloss Hof, Vienna's imperial palace situated just an hour from the city, famous for the wonderful events it has witnessed throughout its history, continues today to be the setting for lavish parties and gala celebrations / © Österreich Werbung / Popp Hackner 

Hohensalzburg Castle, Austria
Hohensalzburg Castle in Salzburg is the largest fortress Europe to be preserved in its entirety and has long been a tourist attraction; the cable car up from the town was opened in 1892  / © Österreich Werbung / Bartl