Kreuzenstein (Grätzenstein), a castle in Lower Austria near the Manhartsberg, has a long, involved history extending back to 1000.
On 22 March 1523 Archduke Ferdinand, the brother of Charles V, assigned the management of the castle, the criminal court, and the money for their upkeep from the income from districts of Korneuburg, to his councilor, Count Niklas von Salm. Two years later Niklas distinguished himself in the army of Charles V at Pavia, in the capture of the French king, Francis I, and as a reward received the castle as a hereditary fief. To it belonged the outlying villages of Gerasdorf, Leobendorf, Perzendorf, and Kleinkotz.
This was about the time, the end of 1527, when Balthasar Hubmaier was arrested and imprisoned in Kreuzenstein. Imprisonment in the dilapidated rooms was particularly hard. Here Hubmaier received visits from distinguished men, and had his famous interview with Johannes Fabri, who had been a fellow student, and who later became bishop of Vienna, in a futile attempt to persuade him to recant; the only concession Hubmaier made was to leave the decision to a general council. His fate took its course, and he died at the stake on 10 March 1528 in Vienna.
The castle remained in possession of the family of Count Niklas von Salm und Neuburg am Inn until 1585, when it was sold to Count Ferdinand von Hardegg, and finally to the Count of Wilczeck.
The old castle in which Hubmaier lay imprisoned so long has long since become a ruin, and has been replaced by a splendid edifice put up by Count Johann von Wilczek in 1879. In 1928, at the formal commemoration of the quadricentennial of Hubmaier's death, visitors from many nations made an excursion to Kreuzenstein. They found in a window nook an old etching: the familiar picture of Hubmaier. On the original there are two sketches beside his head, one depicting the burning of Hubmaier, the other depicting the drowning of his wife.
The literature on Kreuzenstein is best found in the Topographic von Niederosterreich IV, 490-98. A picture of the old castle is found in Vischer, Topographia archiducatus Austriae, 1672; a picture of the new castle by Camillo Sitte, in Monatsschrift des Oesterreichischen Museums I
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 568 f.
Mennonitische Blätter (1928): 38.
Cite This Article
Loserth, Johann. "Kreuzenstein (Niederösterreich, Austria)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 5 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kreuzenstein_(Nieder%C3%B6sterreich,_Austria)&oldid=105799.
Loserth, Johann. (1957). Kreuzenstein (Niederösterreich, Austria). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 5 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kreuzenstein_(Nieder%C3%B6sterreich,_Austria)&oldid=105799.
Herald Press website.
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