Schloss Schoenbuehel was initially built in the early 12th Century
by Marchwardus de Schhoenbuchele on a site where it is believed
that a Roman fortress had stood many years before.
The Schloss's position on the top of a cliff leads to the
assumption that de Schoenbuchele too had intended to build a fortress
as well as a home, which could easily be defended against potential
The Schoenbuchele family remained in possession of the Schloss
for almost two hundred years, until the death of its last member,
Ulrich von Schonpihel, in the early 14th Century. For a brief period
the Schloss fell into the hands of Conrad von Eisenbeutel and subsequently
in those of the Monastery (Stifft) of Melk. However the Abbot was
soon forced to sell and it was so that in 1396 the fortress was
taken over by the brothers Casper and Gundaker von Starhemberg.
For over four Centuries the descendents of Casper and Gundaker
von Starhemberg took it upon themselves to enlarge and improve the
Schloss. Amongst them was Bartholomeus von Starhemberg, who was
one of the first members of the Austrian Aristocracy to convert
to Lutheranism in 1482. This lead to a strong protestant tradition
in Schoenbuehel which lasted until 1639 when Conrad Balthasar von
Starhemberg converted back to Catholicism and as a sign of his commitment
built the Servite monastery that neighbours the Schloss.
The most famous of the Starhembergs who owned the Schloss, however,
must have been Ernst Ruediger who played a decisive role in defending
the Austrian capital, Vienna, from Turkish invasion in the late
17th Century. It was his great grandson Ludvig Josef Gregor who
finally sold the Schloss in 1819 to Count Franz von Beroldingen.
It is, however, assumed that the last few Starhembergs who had owned
the Schloss had not actually inhabited it. When Count Beroldingen
bought it one could only see the tower, the chapel and the wing
of the Schloss, and the inside had been totally abandoned. Nevertheless,
he rebuilt the run down Schloss and made it inhabitable again.
In 1930 his great nephew sold the Schloss to Count Oswald von Seilern-Aspang
who then lost it for a brief period to the Nazis and subsequently
the Russians. However it was returned in 1955 and has remained in
his family ever since.