THE TRIUMPH OF RENAISSANCE PHILOSOPHY
Welcome to the water castle Hagenberg in Lower Austria, also known as Haggenberg Castle, as Love Castle, as Dream Castle, as Templar Castle and as Waechter castle. Founded by Henry of Hackenberg, Marshall of Austria in the crusade of 1217 as seigniorial estate, it was restored in 1687 as unique Hermetic sanctuary by the Imperial Count Theodor of Sinzendorf. The castle became centre of a geometric landscape garden; in the ground floor a magnificent grotto was established, and above a temple of Hermes Trismegistus was set up, who serves as fusion of the Greek god HERMES with the Egyptian god THOT. With the Enlightenment, the castle was abandoned, and after the sale of all agricultural land in 1959 it stood empty ready to be knocked down. Instead, artists moved in.
I, Horst Waechter first entered this place in 1965 on the side of the renowned Austrian painter Frederic Hundertwasser, for whom in 1976 I crossed the oceans to New Zealand. In 1986 I bought the desolate place including the moat around. From the beginning, I have endeavoured to make the castle habitable whereas my main concern was to uncover its historical and spiritual backgrounds. Today, in 2019, both the baroque frescoes of the main hall and its message are being uncovered to the public, which leads us back to the knowledge of the ancients: Haggenberg Castle presents itself as an architectural and spiritual entity of its ritual rooms, each bearing its distinct proposition. It is binary structured, based on love as the primary power of the cosmos, orientated towards the viewer & encoded by the letters of the alphabet.
HAGGENBERG CASTLE ON THE NORTHERN BORDER OF AUSTRIA
ONE OF THE MOST INTRINSIC PLACES YOU MIGHT COME ACROSS
DEVASTATED AND ABANDONED IN MODERN TIMES
NOW REVEALING THE GENUINE KNOWLEDGE OF HERMES TRISMEGIST THE THRICE GREATEST WISE AND THE SPLENDOUR OF HIS TEMPLE
FOR MINDS WITH ESTEEM YES LOVE FOR SIMPLICITY –
The castle and its message remaining hidden, out of place and out of time. It definitely should have been destroyed long ago, or as not to contradict further the present time – it should not have been built at all. But there it is – a castle built in and out of a dream.
Here we sit inside its walls – as gnomes on the shoulders of the giants of the antiquity.
For details see link under: Openings
The visit of the castle is possible in the context of guided tours against donations.
Connoisseurs of ancient mythology welcome.
The restoration of the temple hall
Those who would like to be part of the refurbishment can do so on the special donation account IBAN: AT07 0100 0000 0503 1050 (for foreign countries BIC:BUNDATWW).
Details see link under: Journal - The restoration of the temple hall
OPENING OF THE CASTLE FOR THE PUBLIC
A tour of the castle is scheduled during the warm season every first Sunday of the month at 3 p.m. Meeting point on the brick bridge over the moat. The tour lasts at least 90 minutes.
Outside of this time, a tour for a minimum donation of 60 Euros may also be possible after registration at +43 660 1606233.
Expositions – Hundertwasser and his REGENTAG
In addition to the baroque decoration of the castle, the changes of the last decades are significative. In the entrance hall documents of the highlights of the castle and on the demolition of the Renaissance bay of the nearby city of Laa on the Thaya are exposed.
From the staircase of the second floor to the right a hall is accessible which refer to its inhabitants: The first part contains the documentation of the Viennese artists of the Sixties, when the castle stood empty and was in danger to be torn down. The main protagonist was the artist PADHI FRIEBERGER, who contributed most of the image material. The back part of this hall is devoted to the painter Friedensreich HUNDERTWASSER and his beloved boat REGENTAG, which in 1975-19767 I sailed together with my Swedish wife Jacqueline to New Zealand, where our daughter Magalena was born. The fotos exposed are mostly shot by Jacqueline. On the back side of the room the longtime realization of the voyage is documented with postcards of Hundertwasser. Since 2004 REGENTAG is anchored in the guest harbour of Tulln on the Danube and is currently being repaired there. For those interested in Hundertwasser room this is the place to hold readings from my manuscript that will expose our life together.
On the four writing desks in this room the four major films shot here are showcased:
The memory hall of Frederic Hundertwasser © Initiative Hagenberg
In the adjoining room in the western corner of the castle in the Middle Ages a chapel of St. George was situated. I inserted a copy of a painting of the St.George by Paolo Uccello as altarpiece. This painting was sold in 1959 out of the collection of the Polish Count Karl Lanckoronski in Vienna to the National Gallery in London. The reason: A son of Count Stefan Lubomirski from Krakow, who was a good friend of my father’s, was adopted by Karolina, the daughter of Karl Lanckoronski. With this act I honour my father, who succeeded in saving the Lubomirski family in Krakow in 1944, who were already convicted to death by a Gestapo court.
In the guest rooms on the second floor graphics and paintings of my daughter Magdalena Friderica von Wächter are exhibited, who in the artistic spirit of the castle as attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Hundertwasser was her godfather in New Zealand.
See her paintings: http://www.magdalenavonwaechter.com/
The area within the moat of approx. 50000 square feet is available. The music hall on the first floor and the entire second floor with the large ballroom and eight other rooms can be used.
The main kitchen in the ground floor – February 2019 © Initiative Hagenberg
Marriages under the benediction of Venus
For those who want to unite themselves under the sign of Venus, no other place can compete with Hagenberg! No other castle is more saturated with love. Actually, the whole building is devoted to her.
Garden entrance: Venus with her entourage as dedication of the castle © Initiative Hagenberg
Cupid in the dream room uniting the lovers with his arrow © Initiative Hagenberg
The actual Viennese mayor Michael Ludwig at the wedding of Marion and Philipp Zotter on 29th September 2018 at the garden front of the castle © Initiative Hagenberg
The Temple Sleep
Attached to the temple hall of god Hermes, who is intimately connected with sleep and dreams, lies a room that can be called the “abaton” of the castle, which in Greek means a sacred place inaccessible to normal people. In this room dedicated to the Greek hero Hercules in his function as a healing god a ritual called “Temple Sleep” was practiced which was practised for over 4000 years, starting in ancient Egypt. We want to revive the ritual and offer the room as a unique place to sleep, where – under expert guidance – the visitor gets his dreams interpreted for his health.
The temple sleep in southern corner of the 2nd floor © Initiative Hagenberg
QUOTE TEMPLE SLEEP
Enkoismis, incubation or temple sleep is a practice of trauma incubation that has been documented since antiquity, in which a patient seeks the sanctuary of a god or a hero and sometimes (in connection with a corresponding ritual and more or less elaborate preparation such as baths, fasting, Diet, sacrifices and prayers) hoping that in dream sleep he would receive an indication of an effective therapy for his illness. In a more general sense, it is a term for sleeping in the temple, where an oracle seeker hopes to answer his question. The content of the dream was usually not immediately understandable, but needed the interpretation of a priest or a priestess of the respective sanctuary … WIKIPEDIA
Normally the healing ritual was performed by the Greek god Asclepius, but he was by no means the only one …
Source: Pausanias, Description of Greece 9,24,3, the Hercules sanctuary Hyettus next to the sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone in Viotia .
International directors have also discovered the flair of the building: The most famous was the Sicilian Giuseppe Tornatore with his film “THE BEST OFFER” shot in 2013. I explained my Sicilian connection to him and Geoffrey Rush, his main actor, immortalized himself in our guestbook: “Thank you Horst for your perfect Schloss! and the personal guided tour..”
Collections and archive
In the course of a decades-long confrontation with the history and backgrounds of the castle I have created topic-related studies and also collected documents that can be viewed for those interested.
The Association “Hagenberg Initiative”
ZVR number 339263220
From the club statutes 2005
2. Purpose of the association:
In this sense, the location Hagenberg should be understood as a model case, the castle is preserved and upgraded and used for charitable purposes.
3. Means to achieve the purpose of the association:
3.1: Ideological means: public promotion of the goals of the association through meetings, events and cooperation with similar organizations, documentation archive for the specific conditions and problems of the region.
3.2: Material resources: Annual membership fees, provision and rental of club rooms, income from publications and lectures, collections, bequests. Funding through donations in kind and contributions in kind from sponsors.
Membership fee 35 Euro per year.
Donations account with RAIFFEISENBANK LAA / THAYA
IBAN AT83 3241 3000 0008 3824 – BIC: RLNWATWWLAA
Horst Waechter is the managing director of the association. He bought Hagenberg Castle thirty three years ago and since then has been working on the historical and artistic backgrounds of the region. Over the years, he has been able to explore the ritual areas of the castle and expose the connections The greatest achievement is the discovery of a mystery cult based entirely on Greek and Egyptian mythology celebrated in the Baroque high bloom of the castle.
In 2017, Dario Albegiani from Sicily, the nephew of Horst Waechter, moved in and is hired by the club. He works with greatest effort to change the castle into a corresponding state.
Download (PDF): Membership Form Initiative Hagenberg
News / Journal
The city of Laa an der Thaya lies on the northern border of Austria, which is one of the oldest borders in open landscape of Europe. It was built in the 13th century on rectangular floor plan with four large squares, which were intended as a rallying point for the...
The big challenge of these two years will be the restoration of the baroque frescoes in the temple hall dedicated to Hermes Trismegistos. Dr Hermann Fuchsberger, the actual head of the Lower Austrian Federal Monuments Office was so impressed on his first visit...
We would like to join in quiet mourning of our revered patron and friend, the great supporter and admirer of Haggenberg Castle Professor Hofrat Dr Werner Kitlitschka, who passed away on Friday, 19 October 2018 in his 80th year of life. Connected to the Austrian...
„THE CODED CASTLE - SMASHED AND FORGOTTEN - NOW OPENING FOR THOSE WITH RESPECT YES LOVE FOR THE SIMPLEST - READY TO THROW THE USUAL OVERBOARD.“
Horst A. Wächter