Kornberg Castle

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Kornberg Castle

Kornberg Castle is located near Dörfl (municipality of Riegersburg), in the southeast of Austria in Styria.


Kornberg Castle, around 1681

Kornberg Castle, around 1830


Kornberg Castle was first mentioned in a document in 1284. It was built by the Lords of Kornberg – on behalf of the Knights of Riegersburg-Wildon – to secure access to Riegersburg Castle. The strategically favourable, elevated castle was additionally secured by a fortification wall. It did not originally serve as a residential castle, but as a fortified complex. In the course of securing the borderland against Hungary, numerous colonists from Lower Austria were settled in the 12th century and castles were founded.

Lords of the moat

The castle had to be sold to the lords of Walsee for financial reasons. In 1328, they gave the castle as an after-fief to the noble lords and knights of Graben. By the purchase of Kornberg from the possession of Friedrich Kornberger together with coat of arms and belonging[1] a new family coat of arms was adopted, the one with the shovel, the spade; this could provide the explanation of the deviating family coat of arms of the Kornberg line of the Lords of Graben and their descent in Lower Austria, Tyrol and the Netherlands (but not in Carinthia and East Tyrol) to the ancestral coat of arms with the slanting beam.

Subsequently, Kornberg came into their possession as an allod and thus founded the Kornberg line of the dynasty. The von Graben, for whom Friedrich I von Graben is named as a representative, were able to further expand the fortifications. In 1377 he donated the castle chapel at Kornberg,[2] which was consecrated to Saint Andrew. Subsequently, Kornberg served as the administrative seat of the property scattered throughout eastern Styria. After the death of Andrä von Graben in 1556 and the extinction of this line, the castle fell after many years of inheritance disputes to the sons of Andrä’s sister Anna von Graben, the Lords of Stadl.

Gentlemen of Stadl

Kornberg Castle Chapel

In the course of the inheritance disputes, the financial means to maintain the building stock were lacking. Only after the 25-year-old Hans Rudolf von Stadl married the 66-year-old owner of Riegersburg, Katharina Elisabeth Freifrau von Galler, was it possible to expand the citadel into a residential castle in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the course of this expansion, the St. Andrew’s Chapel, which was destroyed in the 16th century, was also magnificently rebuilt. The von Stadl family owned the castle until 1825.


After brief ownership by the House of Liechtenstein (at Riegersburg), the property passed to Charles Francois Bardeau in 1871. Originally from France, Bardeau had become wealthy with trading companies and shipyards in Trieste. In 1911 his family was raised to the rank of Austrian counts by Emperor Franz Joseph. Bardeau had the castle furnished and restored in the style of the time. The Counts of Bardeau are still the owners of the complex.

Today, the two-storey castle complex with outbuildings contains a Renaissance courtyard worth seeing, which is reinforced with four towers.

Current use

The castle complex and outbuildings are privately owned and are used today primarily for cultural and tourist purposes. The castle houses a restaurant and an arts and crafts shop and has approximately 400 square metres of exhibition space on the ground floor, which is used annually for an oriental carpet exhibition and for a large Easter and Christmas exhibition. The House of the Region, housed in an outbuilding, serves as a venue for courses and seminars.

Kornberg Castle is part of the Castle Road.

Individual references

  1. Mahlerian rambles in the environs of the capital Grätz. By Joseph August Kumar (p. 285)
  2. The resort of Gleichenberg and its surroundings: a guide for castle guests, Vol. 2, p. 317; by Wilhelm Wenzel Prášil

Web links

Commons: Kornberg Castle– Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates 46° 58′ 51.7″ N, 15° 52′ 38.4″ E