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Lake Castle Orth photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
This image is available as a print or poster.

Lake Castle Orth photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
This image is available as a print or poster.

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Lake Castle Orth
(Seeschloß Ort)

Also known as: Schloss Ort
Built: 1350
Type: Palace-Castle-Fortress
Location: Orth 1, Gmunden, Austria
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A mid the magnificent peaks of Upper Austria are scattered dozens of beautiful lochs of all shapes and sizes. It is a picturesque scene with tranquil little villages clinging to the frontiers where the steep mountains plunge into the deep water. What could make this scene even more magical? How about a palace on an island in a lake? That's what Seeschloß Ort is.

The palace is named after the Ort family -- powerful people in this region in the 11th and 12th centuries. When their power waned, the kingdom began changing hands frequently. More often than not, it was bought or sold, but occasionally gained new owners through death or marriage. Today, young couple flock to the island for wedding ceremonies, but are probably unaware of the most famous marriage that happened here. In 1890, Archduke Johann Nepumuk Salvator married Milli Stubel, right after renouncing his position in the Hapsburg empire and changing his name to Johann Orth -- after this castle. He and his new bride fled Austria to start a new life in South America.

There is no firm date for the establishment of the island palace, itself. Its history goes back to at least 1350, if not earlier. It was a private palace for the region's aristocrats until the turn of the 20th century when several plans were put together to turn it into a school. One finally came to fruition in 1919 whenit became a forestry school. That lasted until 1973. Then in 1995, it was given to the Gmunden municipal government which turned it into the conference center it is now.

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Did You Know?
    > The television series "Schlosshotel Orth" was shot here in the mid-1990's.

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