In Eastern Styria, you can explore nature and culture as two sides of the same coin. Take your time and immerse yourself in the region’s history. Major insights and unforgettable experiences often await in quiet and unspectacular places. Experience history up close and personally, pedalling a conventional bicycle or with the comfort of an e-bike.
Mount your bicycle, explore history: Eastern Styria’s hilly landscape is made to be explored on an e-bike. A trove of cultural treasures invites you to dismount and follow the traces of history. Castles and palaces in delightful landscapes wait to be explored. Follow the R57 from Hartberg Castle to Pöllau Castle. Take the GARDEN TOUR 1 and see the Garden Castle of Herberstein. Neuhaus Castle and the neo-baroque Schielleiten Castle, where you may choose to stop for the night, are located close by.
Aichberg Castle lies near the Lafnitz, formerly the border river between the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary. The fence of the realm, as Eastern Styria is known due to its location on the border, has one of Central Europe’s densest concentrations of castles and palaces. “Residents and their House”, a permanent exhibition, offers multifaceted views of times long past. Enjoy an authentic historical experience during breakfast with the host, an art collector and dealer.
The outing continues along the Castle Road into the Joglland and to Vorau Abbey. This Augustine monastery of canons in Vorau has more towers than any other abbey in Austria. Its history tells an arresting story of the contribution made to border defence by churches and abbeys.
Festenburg Castle lies concealed in the forested Joglland. Established for control of the mule-track over the Wechsel mountains, it was expanded into a well-fortified castle over the centuries. Attacks came from the east. Most recently, the Kurucs pushed into the country at the beginning of the 18th century.
Explore the cultural history jewel of the Castle Road on the “Burgenrunde Wechselland” HWW route (historic Wechselland long-distance hiking trail). Discover the history of the Wechselland’s castles. Two castles (Friedberg, Ehrenschachen) have disappeared, two (Bärnegg, Ziegersberg) have fallen into ruin and three (Thalberg, Aspang, Festenburg) are inhabited. The former houses of nobles and knights belonging to the castles are explained at the “Moarhofbauern-Kreuz” station.
Eastern Styria’s castles and palaces not only invite you to look – they make culture come alive with concerts in the special ambiance of historic walls, collections of inestimable value and impressive arrangements of the visual arts.
Genuine cultural gems await you on your trip along the Castle Road in Austria’s garden. Most of the historic castles and palaces erected to protect the borders or as stately homes are very well preserved to this day and sure to impress visitors.
Today the castles provide a wonderful ambiance for events, festivals and weddings. Special overnight accommodations are offered as well. Embark on a journey into bygone times and get inspired by the historic and unique buildings. A stroll of the palace grounds is calming and freeing. Find your personal favourite spot and recharge on benches in the sun or in the shade of trees.