Dornach Castle is the only preserved defense structure in the Feistritztal valley and was once the most important aristocratic residence in the area, although it was built relatively late.
1416 it was mentioned in writing for the first time. Shortly before, it was probably built by the brothers Hans and Wenzel Lasperg. In neighboring Lasberg, their castle was burned down.
1436 the Laspergs sold the fortress to Simon Volkra, the administrator of the Freistadt estate, which belonged to the provincial princes. The Volkra family built today’s circular tower, with its raised entrance, and raised the bergfried.
1505 the castle was sold to Veit von Zelking and thus became incorporated into the Weinberg estate. The Zelkings had today’s outer wall built, but the castle ceased being an aristocratic residence and was used only for storing tithes.
1629 the Weinberg and Dornach estates were transferred to Hans Christoph von Thürheim, and the castle continued to lose its importance. 1650, the castle was already mentioned as an uninhabited ruin. What was left of the remnants degraded further when Josef Gaiseder, a knacker and expert in cattle medicine from the village of Zeilern, was granted permissionin 1787 to build a house from the stones collected from the ruin.
1821 Count Josef Thürheim finally banned the removal of the remainder of the ruins. 1963 Franz Burgermeister of Freistadt obtained the ruins from the former owner of the castle Weinberg, Christian Zimmermann. This step marked a change in the castle’s fate, as it was stylishly restored, rebuilt and became partly habitable once again.
A legend about Dornach Castle tells the story of a great knight dispute in which the gentlemen from Dornach were involved. There had been disputes and hostilities between the Knights of Dornach and Prandegg several times already. Once they believed they could settle the dispute and the people of Dornacher accepted an invitation to Prandegg. In their absence, however, soldiers from Prandegg attacked Dornach, murdered the remaining inhabitants and the castle was burnt down. Only one person is said to have survived the bloodbath. He fled and brought the news to Prandegg to his friends. Then it came again to heavy fighting.
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