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In search of a castle …

Castle Welsdorf – Furstenfeld Austria

We don’t like to plan too much ahead. Not in daily life, and definitely not when we are traveling. We love to experience the day as it presents itself.

You adjust, you adapt, and you enjoy it all.

Without a doubt, our most memorable adventures owe themselves to a lack of planning.

Just hang back, relax and let things happen. Enjoy the scenery and feel your heart working overtime, while hiking up the moderately steep hills that lay in front of you. You won’t regret it.

So, on a rainy day, we decided to find and visit a castle. We opened a touristic map and spotted one at walking distance from our camp-site.

After a 20 minute walk (5 minutes by car), we arrived to Schloss Welsdorf. We saw a small entrance that seemed to do its best to hide a building that looked like, at first, an overgrown farmhouse. The gate was open, so we kind-of invited ourselves onto the property. We were struck by the modest, yet elegant beauty that presented itself to us.

We arrived quickly at a large iron gate, where two very friendly puppies greeted us. Needless to say that our kids fell in love with them instantly, and yes, they were ready to file the doggy adoption papers.

When we walked through the gate, the inside courtyard opened up. Beautiful trees, perfectly maintained gardens, lots of shade, and a building that oozed history. This new-found treasure was absolutely stunning!

While exploring the gardens, we met the friendly caretaker of the building, who pointed out, that we were indeed lucky to have found the gate unlocked, because, in fact, the castle was a private property – not usually open to the public.

Nevertheless, he was very happy to share a ton of amazing stories about the property that seemed to be very dear to him. One was about the German occupation during WWII and how the original owners tried to fight off the invading soldiers. This historical event has left behind hundreds of bullet holes in one of the main walls of the building. Spectacular to see the remains of that event after such a long time! We loved to hear the caretaker speak with such passion, and pride about this unknown, hidden treasure of history.

The current owners made sure they restored the inside of the building back to its former glory (see pictures www.welsdorf.at), but apparently ran out of money to continue the outside restorations.

We were actually happy of this financial dry-up because the wall offered us a valuable glimpse into the story of the place. Hopefully, the owners will realize the importance of untouched history and won’t renovate the wall. This way, you future visitors, will be able to live the same emotions that we got to experience on that beautiful rainy day!

Of course, you first need to get by the locked gate. But, hey! What is a vacation without a challenge?

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