Other Points of Interest
The “Sala Terrena”
A special highlight of Castle Greinburg is the “Sala Terrena” or “Stone Theatre”, which was constructed in 1625 under the direction of the Count of Meggau (his coat of arms is included on the ceiling decoration). The Stone Theatre gets its name from the Danube-pebble mosaic covering the entire surface of the walls and ceiling. This room with its attached grotto is unique in Austria as one of the earliest examples of such an interior room north of the Alps. This distinctive decorative genre had been fashionable in court circles in Italy since the 16th century and was a reflection of a luxurious and highly sophisticated lifestyle.
The Diamond Vault
The Diamond Vault gets its name from the unique ceiling structure – which is covered with diamond shapes. This delicate architectural masterpiece results in fascinating light and shadow play. The room dates back to the original building period in the late Middle Ages. It is the only example of a vault of this kind in Austria and illustrates the extraordinary standards of quality by which Schloss Greinburg was built.
The Large Knights Hall and Castle Chapel
Every visit to Castle Greinburg should include a walk through the Large “Rittersaal” (Knights Hall), which measures an incredible 33m long, 16m wide and 14m high. It is one of the largest uniformly vaulted Renaissance halls in Austria. This magnificent room is decorated with impressive paintings from the 17th century – including Habsburg monarchs such as King Rudolf I (who died in 1291) and Emperor Ferdinand II (who died in 1637). Permanent picture identification cards are located near the entrance to the Rittersaal for visitors to identify the subjects of most of these historical portraits.
A small castle chapel is connected to the Knights Hall. Count Meggau was an advocate of the Counter-Reformation and played a decisive role in the renewal of Catholicism in Upper Austria. He was most likely responsible for the refurbishing of the castle chapel. The chapel is special for its early Baroque altar, which is also called the ‘Weihnachtsaltar” as it is decorated with various scenes from the Nativity – the Adoration of the Shepherds is the central motif. Not to be missed is the backside of the altar. In contrast with the ornate carvings on the front of the altar, the back of the altar consists of two historic wood beams which form a simple cross.