How do old ruins end up underground

Three people, two dogs, one goal. Who wants to see sunshine when you can also have fog? So that the bright something in the sky does not spoil the melancholy autumn mood even further (attention: sarcasm), we set off on a tour of ruins to explore the foggy Hunchback World. Commit and read on at your own risk.

Update 10/17/2016:
The Federal Monuments Office has allowed the Esterházy private foundation to partially demolish the ruins. The local population is resisting it, quote from the mayor: “More and more people assure me that they will take part in the protest actions. We lost the fight, but we will still express our displeasure and not give up. We will demonstrate against the demolition. If necessary, I will chain to the excavators ”.
More information at

The brief information and overview map for this tour can be found on End of the report.

On the way to the alpine pasture, you hike on the Lower Austrian regional hiking trail.

In the Celtic village of Schwarzenbach, we start our tour of discovery on the main road near the local church. An asphalt road in Schwarzenbach leads us over the Schwarzenbach out of Schwarzenbach, interestingly we are now on the Lower Austrian state circular hiking trail and follow the blue-yellow marked path towards Schön-Alm.

Sweet chestnuts fall into the hands of one.

Narrow beaten path with a dog.

A narrow forest path in a partially overgrown ditch with sweet chestnuts leads us back to the familiar asphalt road. A brown signpost to the castle ruins shows us the further direction of walking on a cart path. However, the wide path ends abruptly at the edge of a horse paddock. According to the map, we should go straight to the ruins, but thick undergrowth and electric fences keep us from doing it. We bypass the horse pasture on the eastern slope of the Schlossberg in the autumn forest and come across a path which, to my surprise, is marked with a green color.

View from the south into the area.

We reach a forest clearing, a forest road branches off to our right, and in front of us we see the walls of the Schwarzenbach ruins. The first written mention of the "castrum Suarchumpah" dates back to 1254. It is estimated that the castle was built at the end of the 12th century.

Go inside the ruin.

The restored brick walls are clearly recognizable.

The autumn leaves have softly shaped the subsoil, rocks lie on the ground, paths are trampled. We explore the interior of the ruin. I notice a gothic shaped entrance, this is the passage to the chapel built in the 16th century.

Gothic entrance to the old castle chapel.

The west wall of the ruin is also still well preserved.

Towards the end of the 16th century, extensive renovations took place under the Königsberg family, but the foundations of the original castle remained unchanged. The now existing palace was bought by the Esterházy family in 1680 and is still in their possession.

Respect for humans and animals towards the ruin.

"Love you too!"

At the beginning of the 19th century, the family gave up the castle as a country estate on Schlossberg near Schwarzenbach, and since then time has been causing it to decline. The ruin is a listed building, but further discussions regarding a possible revitalization have come to nothing.

These walls can be found somewhat hidden on the north side.

Trees and bushes can be found in and on the old walls.

Life can arise in even the smallest crevice.

View from the west wall in north direction.

On the north side there is a path a few meters below the ruin, which leads around the ruin and ends in a forest road. The gravel path leads and back down to Schwarzenbach.

The mural on the old Kühhaus in Schwarzenbach is reminiscent of the former Schwarzenbach fortress.

After a short walk along the edge of the forest and along the stream, we land back on the asphalt road from the beginning of the tour. Our starting point is reached after a few minutes. Earth sticks to our soles from an extremely historically valuable place, a ruin that is currently in decline.

Information about the tour

length: 4.3km
Altitude difference: 270m
begin: Schwarzenbach (bus stop available)
additional Information: Marktgemeinde Schwarzenbach, Bezirksblatt report
cards: ÖK50 5208, f & b Wk 023
literature: Castles and palaces in Lower Austria (Bahnmüller, Residenz, 2005), The Castles of Lower Austria (Piper, Edition Winkler-Hermaden, 2012)

Maps and literature available from freytag & berndt, Wallnerstraße 3, 1010 Vienna, [email protected], +43 (0) 1 533 86 85-15,

If you have any questions, comments, hints or additions on your tongue, please either leave a comment on the contributor or send an email to [email protected]

Rough route

Schwarzenbach - Alm - Schlossberg - Ruin - Schwarzenbach

Long-distance hiking trails

Lower Austrian regional hiking trail from Schwarzenbach to the isolated settlement of Alm


Download file: RuineSchwarzenbach.gpx