, located about 5 km (3 miles) from Melk, ranks among the finest Renaissance castles north of the Alps. The core of the fortress, which dates back to the Middle Ages, has survived in the form of the Romanesque residential castle and the Gothic chapel. The Schallaburg castle acquired today’s characteristic appearance in 1572, when the prosperous Lose Steiner dynasty established a manor for themselves that was modelled on the Italian palazzo of the time and whose impressive silhouette can still be made out in the distance to this day.
The Hundefräulein is based on a legend
Schallaburg’s large, picturesque castle courtyard for jousting with its cantilever stairs testifies to the Losensteiner family’s prosperity and love of art, as do the unique decorative sculptures of the two-storey arcade court. The terracotta mosaic, comprising 1600 single pieces, depicts a vivid scene of mythological figures, gods, masks and fantasy creatures, all crafted in lavish detail. One of the figures represented is the “Hundefräulein” (a female human figure with a dog’s head), a character based on a Schallaburg-related legend.
Schallaburg castle is widely known for its annually new, cultural-historical and archaeological exhibitions. Make sure you don’t miss the Schallaburg’s charming, mannerist gardens which boast historical roses, ornamental trees and bushes, herbs and two typical Renaissance apple orchards.