(active 16th century in Carinthia)

Aerial view

Schloss Schallaburg, near Melk

Schloss Schallaburg is a castle near Melk Abbey in Lower Austria. Situated among hills in the Danube valley, Schloss Schallaburg combines imposing medieval ruins with a splendid Renaissance palace. The high-medieval sections dating from the 11th and 12th centuries are dominated by a three-storey tower house and surrounded by crenellated walls; remains of the Romanesque crypt are preserved under the present chapel. The Losenstein family inherited the castle in 1431. Most of the original fabric was removed when Hans Wilhelm von Losenstein (1546-1601), Lord of nearby Loosdorf and a member of the old Protestant gentry, decided to make his domain an important centre for the Protestant nobility. Continuing work begun by his father, he had the castle extensively rebuilt and enlarged from 1572 to 1600.

At the heart of the Renaissance structure is the great courtyard, the Terracottahof (1573) by Jakob Bernecker, with magnificent two-storey arcades. The rich terracotta figurative decoration includes herms, caryatids, reliefs, masks and heraldic emblems (many replaced in the 19th century) and presents allegories of the main ethical and spiritual ideals of the period: the Seven Liberal Arts, eight Virtues and the Nine Muses. Aside from the main entrance a vast tiltyard was laid out, and outer fortifications (1576) were constructed.

In 1614 Schallaburg passed to the Stubenberg family, also Protestants, but never again attained comparable importance. Largely devastated in 1945, Schloss Schallaburg was restored in 1968-74 and adapted as a museum for annual art exhibitions.

View the ground plan of Schloss Schallaburg.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.