We invite you to an extensive exploration of the Castle Grounds, where all the elements blend together to create a holistic work of art. The Grafenegg Castle, the Park, the Wolkenturm and the Auditorium form a unique area where tradition and innovation meet. From the extraordinary architectural styles to the botanical diversity to the artistic works, far-reaching as well as recent history is revealed everywhere. Every era has left its mark: the 13th century mill, the Baroque garden pavilion, the Biedermeier houses and, of course, the castle - one of the most important buildings of Romantic historicism in Austria.
The mise en scéne of nature as a cover for all the components encourages long walks. The 32-hectare oasis, laid out as an English landscape garden, constantly offers new impressions with the changing sun. Thus, every visit becomes a new experience. The culinary offerings in the Grafenegg Restaurant and the Wine Lounge with regional drops round off the on-site experience. In addition, the picnic pavilion is a wonderful way to relax during the visit. And if one day is not enough to explore, you can stay overnight in the Grafenegg Cottages at the site. It is this variety of experiences that makes Grafenegg so special.
Your visit & guided tours
The whole castle grounds are available to visitors, except on days when there are concerts on the Wolkenturm open-air stage. On these days the area is only accessible during a period starting one hour before the start of the Prélude or three hours before the start of the concert and exclusively with a valid concert ticket.
Music in the ParkListen while you stroll
Each Sunday during the Festival, the park itself is transformed into a stage on which ensembles play music in the middle of the green surroundings.
The Music in the Park series allows visitors to hear smaller ensembles in a cosy open space away from stiff conventions. Whether they want to read a book, drink wine or lie in the grass is up to them. The rare plants and old trees are the only things that surround them. In this unusual setting, the ensembles, alone or accompanied by dancers, can be enjoyed completely unfiltered and accompanied only by the sounds of nature.
Castle Grounds32 ha nature
The 32-hectares area frames the architecture in Grafenegg and was originally laid out as an English landscape garden. The park not only acts as a setting for the venues in Grafenegg, but forms an impressive landmark by itself. With a diverse flora and fauna that is home to deer and other wildlife, the landscape invites you to take extended exploration tours throughout the year. As an immersive experience, the park changes its perception for the viewer as the minute passes, as the lighting conditions change in a play of light and darkness. Grafenegg Park combines nature, architecture and art, allowing visitors to glimpse historical upheavals during an excursion into this multifaceted landscape. Coming from the garden pavilion, the 300-year-old avenues of lime trees reflect the Baroque period, in which the park had its humble beginning.
The decisive turnaround came during the 19th century, when Count August Ferdinand Breuner-Enckevoirt (1796-1877) redesigned the park as part of the castle's reconstruction into the Tudor-style palace visible today. In the Romantic manner, the park lost the hard and symmetrical paths and instead used rounded meandering paths to allow admiration of the rare plants.
During the revitalization of the park at the beginning of the 21st century, great importance was attached to preserving old structures and botanical rarities as well as restoring the old and at the same time setting new accents. The goal was to make it possible to experience the skillful interplay between open spaces and trees, between order and overgrowth, visual relationships and deliberate spatial boundaries. Views were opened up through selective clearing, new plantings created new vegetation units, and entire sections of the park were made accessible again through the construction of new paths and bridges. At the same time, the diversity of species and varieties has been restored. Among the elements added in modern times are the creation of the Duke's Pond and the enlargement of the pond landscape as an ideal complement for an English landscape garden.
Well-being place & nature idyll
Today, the park is the perfect recreational space for joggers, walkers and families looking for a picnic spot. Botanical enthusiasts will enjoy the park as well as art lovers who can stroll to the art installations and statues scattered throughout the park. As a resting place, this habitat has become a home for us humans and for the animals and must therefore be treated in such a way as to ensure its survival. A sustainable handling of this living space and habitat is the logical consequence.
Preserving the past & nurturing the present
Grafenegg is committed to an approach that aims to ensure the protection of species and to allow biodiversity to flourish. In this sense, the entire venue operates and has also been certified as a Green Location with the Austrian Eco-Label. As a public garden of «Nature in Garden», Grafenegg is a member of the association «Gardens of Lower Austria» and is therefore 100 percent committed to ecological gardening - the entire area of the park is interspersed with numerous natural garden elements. Wild shrubs, old woods as well as extensive flower meadows and near-natural water bodies are optimal habitats for a species-rich animal and plant world. The balance between beneficial insects and parasites, which has grown over many years, is fundamental to this. The Grafenegg Castle Park completely avoids the use of pesticides and synthetic chemical fertilizers. Adherence to these three core criteria of "Nature in Garden" earns the park and its dedicated team of gardeners the «Golden Hedgehog» award every year.
Art in the Castle Grounds
Last but not least, as part of the initiative Kunst im Öffentlichen Raum Niederösterreich (Art in Public Space Lower Austria), the Grafenegg Castle Grounds forms an encounter zone between works of art and people. Art in the Castle Grounds promotes contemporary art and cultural projects in public space that address history as well as specific, current circumstances and explore the possibilities of public space in a multi-layered way. The artistic works should open up new perspectives and develop forms of design that enter into an active dialogue with the local environment as well as the viewers and users.
A place of inspiration
The park, which is open all year round, takes on a special significance during the Grafenegg Festival in summer, as it takes on a new meaning as a place of inspiration. In addition to the concert halls, the garden pavilion also functions as a venue for lectures or live performances. Every sunday during the Festival, the park is transformed into a stage where ensembles play music amidst the idyllic landscape, and the cottages in the middle of the park are inhabited by musicians who work and live there. Every year, the Festival’s Composer in Residence plants a tree in the park. The culinary options at the Grafenegg Restaurant and the Wine Lounge round off the on-site experience. In addition, the picnic pavilion invites you to rest and if one day of exploring is not enough, you can spend the night in one of the cottages on the premises.