In 1274, a deed mentions a certain “Wulfing de Weinperge” in association with the construction of a four-winged building from a Romanesque castle. The 12th-century foundation walls are still visible. In the central part of the former castle there was an inner courtyard – today’s “Green Court” – and a medieval round tower known as a keep. Over the centuries the fortifications constantly expanded. The original castle grounds were part of the noble estate of Freistadt belonging to the provincial princes, which, after the lords of Clam-Velburg died out in 1218, passed over to the Babenbergs. After the Babenbergs died out, the estate passed over to Přemysl Otakar II and then to the Habsburgs. Otto II von Zelking, appointed by Duke Albrecht as the castle governor of Freistadt, probably removed the Weinberg estate from the noble estates of Freistadt.
During the 14th century part of the castle fief was purchased by the Zelkings for Otto’s son Heinrich II.
1479 under Christoph II von Zelking the township was promoted to a market town, and Keferndorf became Kefermarkt. A parish church was built with a renowned wing altar and the late Gothic castle grounds were later extensively reconstructed and expanded.
Around 1600 the medieval castle was transformed under Hans Wilhelm von Zelking into a representative Renaissance castle with representative rooms, a castle tower, a castle park, and falconry. When the Protestant nobility was expelled, including Zelking, the Weinberg castle passed into the ownership of the noble Swabian family von Thürheim in 1629. This led to a Baroque reconstruction, including the establishment of a chapel and a pharmacy.
1848 after the dissolution of the noble estates, the Thürheims and their descendants remained.
After World War II, the castle was occupied by a Russian garrison. 1946 the Thürheim family returned and rebuilt the agricultural and forestry operations. An association for the castle’s maintenance was established to support its reconstruction.
1986 the building was leased by the District of Upper Austria for 99 years, which launched a costly and historically faithful restoration of the interiors and exteriors. 1988 the provincial exhibition entitled “Mühlviertel – Nature. Culture. Life” was held here.
Today, the Weinberg Castle is home to an Educational and Congress Center (Bildungs- und Veranstaltungszentrum) with open seminar and hotel operation.
Points of interest
A castle tour presents 800 years of the history of the castle’s architecture and art history. Wonderful rooms decorated with lavish stucco ceilings, artistically executed tiled stoves and door frames await your inspection. The 45-meter-high castle tower offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Mühlviertler Kernland.
Tel: +43 (0)7956/7304