February 21, 2018

Sleeping like a King in Austria

Castles were built for a reason and that was not to save damsels in distress or protect citizens from fire breathing dragons as poetry, fairy tales or Disney wants us to believe.

No, castles were built as military defense.  They were not designed for comfort and were actually very dirty and smelly.  In fact, during medieval times King’s very seldom lived in their castles.

But this all changed once medieval times ended.  Returning to Europe from the Crusades, knights brought with them better military techniques making castles obsolete.  At this time, comfort became more important than security and castles were abandoned.

Now nobility turned their sights towards building magnificent and large manor houses and chateaux that resembled castles many with towers and ramparts.  The palaces that replaced castles were residences reflecting the architectural style of the times.

Today many of these Castles and Palaces have been turned into hotels allowing visitors a chance to sleep as Kings or nobility did many years ago but in more comfort and warmth.  The towers and dungeons that witnessed so much history are now home to dining rooms and bedrooms fit indeed for a King.

Let’s take a look at a few of these Castle hotels in wonderful Austria.

Hotel Schloss Durnstein

Schloss Durnstein Danube River Austria

Courtesy of Schloss Durnstein

Sitting high above the village looking down on the beautiful Danube sits this enchanting hotel. The historic castle, where Richard the Lion-Hearted was held, is now in ruins but the Renaissance style castle we see today was built in 1630 by one of the oldest families of Austria.  Today the lovely hotel Schloss Durnstein is full of antiques, gorgeous chandeliers and fine art.  The outside terrace is a place you could lounge forever sipping local Austrian wine or enjoying delicious food all while watching the Danube flow towards Vienna!  If you wish, there is a tunnel that takes you down to the Danube where you can enjoy a walk along the river.

Schloss Matzen

Schloss Matzen Austria

© Schloss Matzen

This castle holds a magical spot high in the Alps of the Tyrol region.  Records date this land back to Roman time but the first tower of today’s castle was built in 1167.  The informal Schloss Matzen still holds its medieval charm and is full of gothic cloisters, marble doorways, high beamed ceilings and decorative wrought iron hinges.  Most of the rooms have thick stone walls, high ceilings and are decorated with antiques.   There is even one with a marble fire place and an unbeatable view of the valley on three sides!  The property can be explored on your own or by guided tours available.  The Roman watchtower, Baroque chapel, knights’ dining hall and 2 dungeons can be toured and there are old manuscripts and rare books in the library to be perused.

Hotel Schloss Monchstein

Hotel Schloss Monchstein Salzburg Austria

© Hotel Schloss Mönchstein, Salzburg

Watching over beautiful Salzburg is the Hotel Schloss Monchstein.  Originally built by the archbishops of Salzburg as a guest house, today the Monchstein is definitely a place for the famous and beautiful.  The grounds of the hotel are as beautiful as the rooms.  You can stroll paths through a park-like area full of flowers and singing birds.  This is a perfect place to end a day of sightseeing and enjoy the magnificent view.  The elegant guest rooms have been graced by Czarina Katherina of Russia and Empress Elisabeth of Austria.  The Monchstein is a great place to wander even if you don’t stay here!

Schloss Kapfenstein

Schloss Kapfenstein Austria

Schloss Kapfenstein by Steindy

Built in 1065 as a mountain fortress to fend of armies coming from the east, this castle sits overlooking the Styrian wine country and as far as Hungary and Slovenia.  Schloss Kapfenstein is a family owned establishment that is a comfortable place to stay while discovering this tranquil and unspoiled part of Austria.  Truly a family endeavor, this charming castle offers beautiful rooms, and exquisite food that is served with award winning wines produced from their own vineyards.

There you have it, four of the many castle hotels in Austria.  Wouldn’t it be nice to treat ourselves and sleep as royalty?


Which one would you like to lay your head in?

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  3. Karla Jones says:

    Stayed at Matzen back in May 2000 with my 9yr old daughter, On a mother/daughter trip. she truely enjoyed wandering the castle…but couldn’t get her down to the dungeons. Area around the castle was lovely too. Would go back in a heartbeat.

  4. Jason says:

    Awesome dose of history in a few paragraphs.One day, when I finally visit these places, I’ll see them differently thanks to your comments!

  5. Lisa says:

    I love the castle in Salzberg, Schloss Monchstein. I hope things have settled down for you!
    Lisa recently posted..Experiencing Patriotism at home and abroad.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I liked that one too! If I’m honest, I liked them all! LOL 🙂 Yes things have seemed to settle down and getting back to normal. Thanks for asking 🙂

  6. I like the first one. Visiting castles would be fun but sleeping in them might freak me out. I’d be afraid of the ghosts of past residents.
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..July 4 Memory: A redneck holiday at the Greeley Stampede

  7. robin says:

    Yeah I like the Matzen one best!
    robin recently posted..Pájaros

  8. I want to sleep in the tower of Schloss Matzen. Maybe slay a dragon or two.
    adventureswithben recently posted..Happy 2nd Anniversary adventureswithben.com!

  9. I like the last one. Beautiful, exquisite food, and award-winning wines – I’m sold!
    The Travel Chica recently posted..Saying Goodbye

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I really liked Schloss Kapfenstein for the same reasons! What could be better than waking up to see all the vineyards? The anticipation each day would be awesome.

  10. Sophie says:

    I’d like to stay in all of them. If I had to choose, perhaps Schloss Matzen. Looks like it would have the best ghosts.
    Sophie recently posted..What to do in Kiev

  11. Laurel says:

    Interesting history about castles. I would be happy to lay my head at any of these castles, although I can see that they wouldn’t have been very comfortable in the middle ages.
    Laurel recently posted..The Actual Escape from My Yoga Vacation in Austria

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I find castles fascinating and one definitely love to spend a night or two in one someday!

  12. Arti says:

    I would go in for Schloss Matzen! Invited me in at first glance itself!
    Arti recently posted..The Badrinath Temple

  13. Monday says:

    Australia is my favorite place where I want to visit.Love all your photos about it.Thanks so much for your sharing
    Monday recently posted..Understand Home Basics When Buying A Home (Steve)

  14. jade says:

    I’d like to lay my head at the last one, Schloss Kapfenstein. The multiple levels had me at hello!!
    jade recently posted..Connecting Face First

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Loved that one too plus it is surrounded by all those vineyards! Castles and wine kind of go together.

  15. Andrea says:

    I think I have to go with Hotel Schloss Monchstein – it looks so modern! But any castle will do for me =)
    Andrea recently posted..Holiday in Colombia Part Two: Caribbean Coast

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I have to agree with you, any castle would do! Monchstein is beautiful and must have marvelous views.

  16. Katherina says:

    I love the idea of staying in a castle… in Spain, I’ve had the chance to sleep in a monastery and in a King’s summer vacation house (its a fantastic chain, called Paradores, they have hotels all over the country).

    I think from all of these, I’d choose Schloss Matzen – I like the fact that its up in the Alps, with such an amazing view and it feels so medieval!
    Katherina recently posted..A Cuban Fruit Feast

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I like the idea too and agree that Matzen would be my first choice. It just felt more like me although I wouldn’t turn down a stay at any of the others 🙂

      I have heard of Paradores but haven’t been able to stay in them. One of these days I will and maybe a Pousada too!

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