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Schonbuhel Castle is located in the Wachau Valley on the Danube coast, just a few kilometers from Melk. Among the local population, the castle is also known as the 'Guardian of the Wachau'.
The castle was first mentioned in documents dating from 1135. The castle was built as a residence for the bishop of Passau. The place for the construction was not chosen by chance; earlier there was a Roman fortress here. In the following centuries, the castle was rebuilt several times, the oldest part of it was built in the XII century.
The Schonbuhel family owned the castle for almost two centuries. In the XIV century, the castle became the property of Konrad von Eisenbetel, and later passed into the possession of the Melk monastery. Soon the abbot of the monastery sells the castle to the brothers Gundaker and Kasper von Starhemberg. The Starhemberg clan has been rebuilding and improving the castle for four centuries.
One of the famous representatives of the family was Bartholomew von Starhemberg – one of the members of the Austrian aristocracy, who advocated Lutheranism in 1482. He also created strong Protestant traditions in the castle, which continued until 1639, – that year Konrad von Balthasar Starhemberg, having converted back to Catholicism, built a small monastery near the castle as a sign of his commitment.
The most famous of the Starhembergs was Ernst Rudiger, who played a decisive role defending Vienna from the Turkish invasion at the end of the 17th century.
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Topic: Schonbuhel Castle in Austria, Lower Austria resort.