The history of Freybühel castle reaches back to the eleventh century when the Palatine Counts of Bavaria owned this part of the Lassnitz valley and built a sturdy keep here to guard against marauders and invaders marching north towards Vienna.
Freybühel was converted into a more comfortable country residence in 1585 and its final alteration occurred around 1645, when it was rebuilt in the beautiful Renaissance style with an inner courtyard surrounded by elegant colonnaded galleries. It has hardly changed since and is entirely recognisable from prints of that time.
The castle has some unique features: it has its own private two-storey chapel, which was redesigned by the Graz architect Robert Mikovics in the 1870’s. Its Great Dining Room has walls adorned with fresco paintings of exotic animals which are still as fresh today as when they were painted in 1790. The Castle has been a listed building since 1990.
Freybühel has been in the possession of the Church and the Nobility throughout its long history and it has frequently changed owner. Its final acquisition was in 1808 by a hardened Belgian soldier, Count Adrien des Enffans d’Avernas. He had been wounded no fewer than eleven times in the service of the Austrian Army. In 1795 the French revolutionary army invaded Belgium and as their implacable enemy, Count d’Avernas was faced with life imprisonment and the confiscation of all that he owned. He was forced to sell his estates to his brother and to make a dramatic escape to Austria. Family legend claims that he converted all his fortune into gold coins concealed in the doors of the carriage that he escaped in, and that it was these coins that were used to purchase Freybühel. Whatever the truth, the castle and estate have been securely in the possession of the d’Avernas family ever since.
The family has included soldiers, diplomats, Imperial Court Chamberlains and many priests and missionaries. Two of the missionaries were brothers that were tragically martyred in Korea after the second world war.
Freybühel Castle has twice been occupied by foreign troops and its old walls have survived centuries of wars and devastation. Today, however, it is a haven of peace and elegance which Diane d’Avernas and her Irish husband invite you to share.
They have spent 40 years patiently and lovingly restoring the castle and its contents. Every room has recovered its original furnishings and paintings, and great care has been taken to ensure that the modern kitchens and en-suite bathrooms all blend into the original style. Wi-fi has been installed in every room, and guests can also use the multimedia room for their convenience.
Freybühel has always been one of the Styria’s hidden jewels, and now it is preserved for generations to come and also for the full enjoyment of our guests.
For bookings and requests please contact: Daphne Skene E-Mail: email@example.com Mobile: +43 664 445 81 44