Starting at Erlanger Square (Erlangerplatz) – the unofficial main square of the municipality – one passes the castle bridge crossing Schwarza river and gets to the oldest part of Reichenau where Reichenau Castle with all its outbuildings and the church are situated.
It was in about 1190 when the “Veste Reichenau” (“veste” is an old German expression for castle) was constructed by the gentlemen Pitten-Klamm. In 1256 a certain “Perchthold de Reichenau” was proved by documentary evidence and so the first documentary mentioning of the village Reichenau was given.
Ownership was given from the Pitten-Klamm family to, among others, the Wolfseck family, the Fallbach family, to Duke Otto der Fröhliche and finally in 1333 to the monks of a catholic order called Zisterzienser from Neuberg who administered and reorganised the castle over a period of 450 years and who, due to the mild climate, used it as their headquarters.
Emperor Karl also stayed at the castle, whenever he spent some days in Reichenau for going hunting.
The Innerberg Berg- und Hüttenwerke (mines and iron and steels works), which took over the castle in 1780 and used it as the place for their plant management, could not have really cared about the preservation of the fabric of the castle, because in 1826 a weak earthquake was enough to get numerous premises and the chapel of the castle destroyed.
In 1829 the castle was rebuilt and redesigned and in 1870 it was acquired by the brothers Waissnix. The last owner, Margarethe Bader Waissnix, set up a foundation for the benefit of the municipality of Reichenau in which the castle with all its outbuildings, all personal properties and mementos were brought to.
The purpose of the foundation was the creation of a cultural centre with the main focus on exhibitions and the museum.
The regional exhibition of Lower Austria (Niederoesterreichische Landesausstellung) in 2003 was the first step in implementing the purpose of the foundation which was continued in 2005 with the exhibition concerning Dina Larot (Dina Larot Ausstellung).
If you want to get more information on the history of the castle, we are at your disposal:
Frau MMag. Friederike Griessler
Erster Stock, Zimmer 7
Telefon 02666/52206 DW 34