Schloss Porcia

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Porcia Castle
Schloss Porcia (German)
Schloss Porcia - Südansicht.JPG
General information
Architectural style Renaissance
Town or city Spittal an der Drau
Country Carinthia, Austria
Construction started 1533
Client Gabriel von Salamanca-Ortenburg
Owner Spittal an der Drau

Schloss Porcia (Porcia Castle) is a castle in Spittal an der Drau, in the Austrian state of Carinthia. It is one of the most significant Renaissance buildings in Austria.[citation needed]

Construction of the edifice began in 1533 by Count Gabriel von Salamanca-Ortenburg (1489–1539), treasurer of the Habsburg archduke Ferdinand I of Austria. Originally from Burgos in Habsburg Spain, Salamanca in 1524 for his services had received the County of Ortenburg in the Imperial Duchy of Carinthia. The Ortenburg dynasty had become extinct in 1418 and since their ancestral seat Ortenburg Castle did not meet Salamanca's standards, he commissioned the design of his new comital residence in Spittal to Italian architects. However he never lived here, as the construction in a palazzo style continued until 1598.

Schloss Porcia, engraving, 1688

After the Salamanca dynasty had become extinct in 1620, the patrician Widmann family acquired their estates and in 1662 assigned the castle to Prince John Ferdinand of Porcia, at this time minister and confidant of the Habsburg emperor Leopold I. His descendants added Baroque elements to the façade in the 18th century, while the adjacent park was laid out in the 19th century.

Not until 1918 did the Porcia family sell the castle, which in 1951 became a property of the Spittal municipality. The famous arcaded courtyard houses several Lombard-Italian sculptures and serves as a venue for the annual Komödienspiele Porcia festival. Furthermore the castle houses a museum for local history and is the site of several concerts and chorus recitals.

Porcia Castle is notorious for the ghost of the White Lady Katharina of Salamanca, who is said to be guilty of remorselessness towards her subjects and cursed to haunt the rooms of the castle.

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Coordinates: 46°47′52″N 13°29′44″E / 46.79778°N 13.49556°E / 46.79778; 13.49556