This living Baroque masterpiece is Austria’s largest rural palace complex. Its splendid palace, unique terraced gardens and idyllic manor farm are inextricably linked to Prince Eugene of Savoy.
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Prince Eugene of Savoy´s private gem is a real insider’s tip. The former hunting lodge is a harmonious combination of the Baroque penchant for display and rustic cosiness.
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History has been made at Schloss Eckartsau, with its enchanting Schlosspark gardens and nearness to the National Park: Emperor Charles I and his family spent the final days of the Habsburg monarchy at this very spot.
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Visitors are astonished and thrilled not only by this castle’s storied past, but by the natural spectacle of the nearly 100 white storks which gather here to breed for several months each year.
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With a documented and lively history going back nearly 1,000 years, Schloss Orth has now become a unique hub for nature and culture thanks in great part to its vicinity to the Donau-Auen National Park.
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Schloss Orth an der Donau lies at the heart of the Donau-Auen National Park. As the home of the Donau-Auen National Park Visitor Centre, it is the first point of contact for tourists and park visitors. The multimedia exhibition “DonAUräume” – a German play on words combining “Danube spaces” and the word “Au”, or wetlands – offers insights on this fascinating riverine landscape, while the various discovery stations on the Schlossinsel grounds highlight native flora and fauna. At the museumORTH, also located at Schloss Orth, the history of Orth is brought to life by way of images.
Much has changed at Schloss Orth from its first documented mention over 700 years ago to its present-day function as a hands-on showcase for nature, history and culture. For centuries the Habsburgs held sway over the fortunes and fate of the castle. After being besieged regularly in the late Middle Ages and nearly razed in 1529, the former fortress was rebuilt as a Renaissance castle under the feudal tenure of three generations of counts from the House of Salm. The opulent remnants from this period are still maintained today.
Internal power struggles and wartime events took their toll on the castle; its complete deterioration was all but certain. Then in 1686, a saviour appeared in the form of Count Theodor von Strattmann, diplomat and Hofkanzler in the Imperial Court under Emperor Leopold I, who acquired the Orth manor. For the next 100 years, he and his family carried out important refurbishments that still characterise the look of the castle and even the town of Orth itself.
Schloss Orth enjoyed a second short period of prosperity during the 19th century. Under Emperor Franz I it became the administrative seat of the Habsburg palaces in the Marchfeld region. Crown Prince Rudolph organised a Schrammel music concert in fall of 1887, where he discovered the man who would become his favourite horse-drawn carriage driver, the Wienerlied singer Josef Bratfisch. The Republic of Austria assumed ownership of the castle after the dissolution of the Habsburg monarchy and Schloss Orth became a museum starting in 1957.
After a period of extensive refurbishment and retrofitting from 2004 to 2005, the building was reopened as schlossORTH, home to the Donau-Auen National Park Visitor Centre, an experiential centre for nature and culture. The multimedia exhibition “DonAUräume” depicts the many facets of the fascinating riverine landscape along the Danube. The lookout point on the tower offers a panoramic view, while the castle courtyard is the ideal spot to take a quick break and relax. The small island Schlossinsel showcases wetlands habitats and the flora and fauna of the National Park. The walk-in underwater observatory opens up new perspectives on the aquatic life of native species.
The museumORTH, also located in Schloss Orth, makes the history of the region come alive through historic photographs and exhibits, visualising the history of the castle itself, life in and on the Danube River, regional culture, and even contemporary art. Visitors may obtain information and book excursions at the tourism information centre. As an event centre for the town of Orth, Schloss Orth offers ample space for seminars, conferences, exhibits, concerts and other cultural events, but also private parties and weddings.
Opening times schlossORTH National Park Centre and museumORTH
21 March to 30 September | daily from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
01 October to 01 November | daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
November 02 to March 20 - Closing during winter time! Only telephone inquiries and booking, Mo - Fri from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The public arrival to Orth/Donau is possible with ÖBB-Postbus line 391.
Taxi (book at least 30 minutes before departure), Tel.: 0810 810278: Line AST 2 Marchfeld (shared taxi).