Walled Town of Eggenburg

Passing by battlements and walls – where sea waves broke 22 million years ago

This medieval town is the gateway to the Waldviertel and the Weinviertel. Eggenburg lies on the edge of the low, flat-lying ridge known as the Manhartsberg and is still protected by its ancient town wall. It is one of the few fully preserved walled towns and has genuine treasures in store for visitors: the art of stonemasons, the Krahuletz Archeology Museum, Ferdinand Stangler’s clock collection – the list could go on and on. It is a trip back in time you won’t want to miss.

Where the story first began

The place name was first cited in documents in 1140 as “Egenburch” and “Egenenburg”. Back then, the final touches were being put to the town wall. With the completion of the Romanesque church around 1180, the fortified town of that time was complete. The two imposing towers that still stand today date from that same period. In August 1277, Rudolf of Habsburg renewed the town privileges that had been granted decades before. After Duke Albrecht V was named ruler of Upper and Lower Austria in Eggenburg, the town began a truly golden age in the 16th c. The nobles, the town council and the burghers vied in their efforts to put their own mark on the town. The white stone of Eggenburg, namely the sandstone quarried in Zogelsdorf, was responsible for the wealth of the town in Baroque times. A catastrophic fire in 1808 set off a decline in the town’s fortunes. The next turning point came in 1870 with the construction of a rail line: Franz-Josefs-Bahn. It put Eggenburg within easy reach of Vienna, making it more appealing again and reviving the town and its popularity. At the initiative of the local merchant Franz Gamerith, Eggenburg was transformed in the late 19th c into the garden town that makes it such a delight to live in today. 

Tales told by witnesses to the past 

Nearly two kilometers long, the old town wall with its crenelations eloquently demonstrates the military, political and economic significance of medieval fortifications. Anyone strolling with open eyes along and on top of the wall will see machicolations, arr0w slits, zwinger walls and fortified towers. The old 12th c keep also rises imposingly into the sky – a stately remnant of the old fortress known as Veste Eggenburg. Well-protected behind the old fortifications are splendid burgher townhouses, monuments and St. Stephen’s Church – all witnesses to the famed skills and artistry of the Eggenburg stonemasons. For a completely different perspective on the Middle Ages, take the guided tour with the night watchman.

Where time stands still

The Krahuletz Museum is a definite must-see. Here one billion years of the earth’s history in the Waldviertel meet about 20 million years of the Eggenburg Sea. The archaeological collection extends across all of prehistory and early history to the Early Middle Ages. The cabinet of curiosities features select paintings, sculptures and small art objects spanning five centuries. Ferdinand Stangler’s clock collection delves into another aspect of time: 150 timepieces from three centuries stop time for just a moment.

Where time passes too quickly

The varied calendar of local events is proof that there is always something going on in Eggenburg. You can look forward to fascinating trips back in time at the Eggenburg Medieval Festival, in the 460-year-old Gilli mill, in the nostalgic world of the 1950s and 1960s or on hiking trails focusing on the town walls, wine and stone, and the earth’s history. In the mood for outdoor activities? Check out the countless cycling routes for exploring everything from prehistory and Riesling wine to Bertha von Suttner, the first woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.