Castle Viamala

Schloss Ortenstein

Schloss Ortenstein Winter
Schloss Ortenstein Sommer

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Schloss Ortenstein Sommer
The largest castle complex in the valley of castles and palaces: The stately Castle Ortenstein below Tomils towers majestically above the Domleschg.


About one hundred and twenty metres above the Domleschger valley floor rises Ortenstein Castle on the right bank of the Rhine on a steeply sloping rocky outcrop, called "ort" in Middle High German. The development of the castle began in the early 15th century with the construction of the striking keep.

The castle was most likely built by the Lords of Vaz. At first it was regarded as an episcopal fief, but soon as the property of the powerful family, which appears in the early 14th century in possession of the castle "Ortenstain", first mentioned in documents in 1309.

Destroyed - except for the tower

Da Donat von Vaz, who had his residence on Ortenstein and with his additions to the tower later structural development had given the direction, had died in 1337 as the last of his tribe, Ortenstein came in 1338 to his daughter Rudolf von Werdenberg-Sargans. In 1450, during the "Schamser War", Ortenstein in Werdenberg was destroyed except for the tower
. An arbitration decision of 1452 allowed the reconstruction, and the east wing with the cellar carved into the rock was built.

In the

following centuries, various owners changed ownership of the castle. In 1875, Ortenstein Castle went to Dr. Johann Friedrich von Tscharner. He has maintained and enriched the castle since 1955 with much love and a sense of art. The external form in which Ortenstein presents itself to hikers today was essentially preserved in the first half of the 18th century by the traverse. They redesigned the west wing and the two corner buildings of the east wing, added the structure with onion dome to the clock tower and thus gave the castle that compact shape that makes it appear organically grown out of the mighty rock alone.

Ortenstein Castle is the largest castle complex in the valley of castles and palaces.

Ortenstein Castle is privately owned and is not open to the public. The facility is visible from the Burgenweg Domleschg.


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