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copyright TV Leoben, Foto: Freisinger

Kirchenburg St. Oswald in Eisenerz

One of the biggest obtained forified church facilities in Austria!

Ansicht auf die Wehrkirchenanlage

The Kirchenburg St. Oswald in Eisenerz is one of the biggest fortified church facilities obtained in Austria!

As they say: “Extraordinary circumstances require extra ordinary action”, and that not only today.

We are in the 15th century and the construction of Oswaldi church is in full swing. Yeah you can see the worker right in front of you, as they carve stone, create wood roomings and carry material.

In 1482 comes in this busy construction activity for the first time a decree of the emperor: Friedrich III, gave the order to secure both markets “Eisenartzts so called Innerberg” (which today is Eisenerz) and Vordernberg.

Help the Turks are coming

1529 the Turks advance towards Vienna and from then on the Wehrkirche is rebuilt to a powerful escape castle until the mid 30 years of the 16th century. The east gate is with a Gate house and an upstream ditch provided, the walls are being elevated, again strengthened with shooting nicks and pitch noses. Wooden weir corridors are built, the original west entrance closed and the north entrance through a more massive (Vorwerk) pincer gate and two half imposing round gates reinforced.

But that´s not enough, inside the walls a well is dug so the population can be supplied with water during siege and finally for the need of the people a lavatory oriel way was built – with an embrasure. The church became a refuge, for the populations’ safety of attacks and siege, but the Turks never came.

An escape castle against the bishop

Whoever believes our fortified church was never in action is wrong. Even during the Turks danger the Protestantism spread widely in Austria, and quickly accepted by the Innerberger Radmeister and Knappen, so far that more Protestants were in the Innerberg Kirchenburg by mid 16th century and so in a solid Lutheran hand. Not even 50 years later came the consistent counter reform in Innerberg.

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