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Castle Reifenstein

VR glasses compatible (e.g. Quest 3)

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Reifenstein ruins in the Pölstal. One of the great former castles in Styria. The ruins are very much at risk and endangering because larger parts keep collapsing at irregular intervals.
 Built up from 1250 (the castle complex was first mentioned earlier around 1145, at the same time as the church in nearby Pöls) and repeatedly rebuilt and expanded. Around 1800 due to the roof tax at the time and also to prevent Napoleon and his troops from staying there billeted, it has been stripped of all roofs. The castle, which was already dilapidated at the time, quickly fell into disrepair.

A historical mention is worth mentioning: one of the owners of the fortifications was the brother of the minstrel Ulrich von Lichtenstein.

A popular story speaks of a cellar two stories deep. Which didn't exist. However, the living and kitchen wing in the east does have several floors, two of which are still there today. The lowest one is built directly on the rocks, perhaps giving the impression that it could be a cellar. But if you look out of one of the small windows, you are still far above the ground of the surrounding forest.

In terms of its geometry, this complex can be seen as the epitome of a classic “knight's castle”. At least that's how we like to imagine it.
Google übersetzung Alle Bilder Videos News Bücher Web Finanzen Suchfilter Deutsch Englisch A deep moat, over which two bridges led to the two gates of the crenellated curtain wall, with round towers at the corners. A high, old central part with a semi-round tower and a square keep, an inner courtyard surrounded by tall buildings and blocked by another castle gate, a Gothic castle chapel, a long battlement, horse stable with a grandiose vault, embrasures in the shape of a key, rooms with a vaulted ceiling - everything is there.
However, the term “knight” is only technically correct for the Middle Ages - and the full expansion (especially the ring wall) was only achieved afterwards. And some elements were more decorative than functional. In particular, almost all of the battlements. However, embrasures had a function. You can find a little explanation about this in the west tower.

Worth seeing: the large horse stable, kitchen with large fireplace with soot, the remains of the hexagonal Gothic castle chapel, the large roundel, the preserved rooms in the semicircular central tower and generally the large dimensions of the complex.

Help for the tour

The virtual tour is best experienced in full screen (double click on the image or click on the button at the bottom right), on a large PC monitor with headphones or speakers. Simple reconstructions of the former building structure become visible under the mouse cursor (or when touching the touchscreen). Small details are pointed out using information symbols.
At the top right, an orientation plan and/or a map can be activated, at the right edge the music can be set to mute, a compass can be hidden or shown and switched to English.
If you activate the home button at the top of the screen, you get to the aerial photo/overview and back again.
The tour, like all the others, can be experienced with VR glasses such as a Quest 3. Without additional software – simply enter the URL of this page in the browser of the glasses, activate the VR button that is then visible there – done.

The tour is comprehensive and covers almost all areas, except for a few views of the northern walls from the outside. This is due to the inaccessibility of the steep and overgrown forest terrain. Aerial photos also show these walls.
Three rooms in the castle complex are still missing: a vault in the palace, the lowest in the northeast tower (still to be added) and the top room in the central round tower. Climbing this would be too dangerous given its state of preservation. During the time the photos were taken, smaller parts of the construction collapsed, for example a small part of the bridge pillars over the moat and a small part of the vault near the kitchen. Since all recordings were made using a drone, even completely inaccessible or dangerous areas could be documented. The technology often makes it possible to fly them into areas at risk of crime or to approach them from above or to fly through the high castle gate.

Reconstruction drawing of the castle around 1550. With kind permission and copyright from and by Martin Aigner (www.burgenseite.com )
Picture from 2023
Colored photograph around 1930
Picture mounted and colored on wood (wall decoration from the 1930s)
Lithografie from “Topog. gesch. Lexikon von Steiermark” around 1880
Engraving from “Topographia Ducatus Styriae” Georg Mathaeus Vischer around 1680
Reifenstein around 1600 after Johannes Clobucciarich, oldest known view

Information about this castle on the internet

Steirischer Burgenverein (steirischer-burgenverein.at)
Martin Aigner’s Burgenseite
wehrbauten.at
ruine.at
Burgruine Reifenstein in Pöls-Oberkurzheim (alleburgen.de)
Archiv (burgen-austria.com)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgruine_Reifenstein

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