The lowland castle of Sachsendorf

Historical sites


The beginnings of the castle, which was once used to secure the border on the Manhartsberg mountain ridge, date back to the tenth century.

Sachsendorf is what is known as a lowland castle, which was protected by its location on a marsh. The oldest references to the Sachsendorf family date back to the 12th century. The castle may also have been the seat of the minnesinger (poet-musician) Ulrich von Sachsendorf.


The beginnings of the castle

Archaeological excavations carried out from 1987 to 1998 revealed surprisingly early, continuous and complex settlement and building on the site from the tenth century onwards. Initially, a huge tower – an early form of a tower-like house – was built within a wooden palisade. This was replaced in the 11th century by a smaller stone dwelling with several wooden buildings. From the mid-12th century, this complex gave way to a more imposing, hall-like structure with an adjacent chapel to the north.


Expansion in the 13th and 14th centuries

With sides just under 9 m long and walls over 3 m thick, the mighty keep was built in the second half of the 13th century. The tower, which once had several storeys, was placed over the western part of the chapel, forming one structure with the sacred building that was thus shortened. A circular wall with a moat was built in the 14th century. The great hall was moved to the north-west of the site, while the chapel area was used as a cemetery – over 900 burials were excavated here.


Fortification in the 15th century

An earth wall about 5 m high was built in front of the enclosure wall in the 15th century. The four projecting fortification towers are also likely to have been built during this reconstruction. These towers have a star-shaped vaulted basement on which a round tower probably stood. On top of the rampart was a palisade with a paved path running behind it. This structure was already designed for the use of firearms and is one of the few to have survived from this period in Lower Austria.

Location and how to get there

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    Niederungsburg von Sachsendorf

    3474 Sachsendorf

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