Windhaag/Perg

Ruins of Windhaag
Ruins of Windhaag

In the 10th century there was probably a wooden fortified settlement here on an elongated hill.

 

1290 the fortress appeared for the first time with the brothers Heinrich and Freitel von Windhaag as the owners. This was followed by Hans von Au and later the Lasberg family.

 

1395 Konrad Schaffer von Schwertberg owned the castle, having married the daughter of the last Freitel von Windhaag.

 

1400 the castle passed over to Thomas Tannpeck.

 

1485 Emperor Frederick III confiscated the Tannpeck estate of Windhaag and gave it to Lasla von Prag, because during the wars with Hungary the Tannpecks collaborated with the Liechtensteins, who were the emperor’s enemies at the time. Lasla von Prag succeeded in increasing the estate through purchases as well as establishing a provincial court in Windhaag.

 

1597 his grandson Friedrich von Prag had to sell Windhaag Castle to his main creditor Lorenz Schütter of Klingenberg, whose descendants later sold it to Joachim Enzmilner, a lawyer who became rich during the Counter-Reformation, in

 

1630 due to massive debts. In the purchase agreement, the castle is described as “a simple Gothic defense structure, not too big, but still comfortable”.

 

From 1642, Enzmilner built a new, large, three-storey building in Renaissance style next to the small “Old Castle” with a spa, stucco ceilings, a library of 30,000 books (the basis of the National Library), and a picture gallery.

 

1678 Joachim Enzmilner died, and his only surviving daughter Eva Magdalena inherited all his possessions. Having submitted herself to the monastery, she turned away from her father’s luxurious lifestyle. She had the castle demolished, only eight years after it was finished, including its valuable paintings, furnishings, and fountains (now on the square in Steyr and Königswiesen). She used the construction material to establish a large new monastery.

 

Until 1771, the “Old Castle” served as a residence for poor people. The former grandiose building became a mere ruin for which no one cared for the next 200 years. 1990 the town of Windhaag bought the remnants of the historic walls in order to restore them.