Exploring Oberkarpfenberg Castle and watching birds of prey

Austria has an abundance of castles and fortresses in each province. Personally I don’t think it is possible to see them all in a life-time but one can at least try. Since you have to start somewhere we decided on a day trip to Styria to explore the Oberkarpfenberg Castle. The castle looks back on a long history, being first mentioned in 1173. Since then the same family has owned it until in 1992 the municipality of Karpfenberg bought the castle. I guess it is not easy to maintain such a large and old building.

Oberkarpfenberg Castle, Austria

Nowadays the castle is mostly used for weddings and other celebrations. After extensive renovations the castle has a large restaurant as well as a small museum with a permanent exhibition in regards to alchemy.

We started with a castle tour and our guide showed a deep understanding of the castle history with a little probing. The castle is fun for young and old and the museum is partly interactive.

Pollybert on a wooden horse (sadly not rocking) @Oberkarpfenberg Castle

great view on the town of Karpfenberg below @Oberkarpfenberg Castle

The reason why we chose to visit this castle besides the vicinity to the Steirereck am Pogusch was the birds of prey show. During the spring and summer months the falconry of the castle puts up a show for visitors. It was my first time seeing something like this and it was amazing. The birds were all beautiful and so well-trained. I loved best that the moderator also told a bit of background information about each bird.

The first up was a female snow owl and as you can see she is not white. This is because the female never looses its brown streaks, while the male gets whiter every year. So Hedwig, the while owl of Harry Potter, is actually a male and a female in the films.

a female snow owl and its trainer @Oberkarpfenberg Castle

All birds showed their prowess in flight while a clever black crow also solved a task to get to a snack. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures from all the birds. These are the best I have. Yours, Pollybert

a vulture in flight @Oberkarpfenberg Castle

an eagle after a successful performance @Oberkarpfenberg Castle

a falcon @Oberkarpfenberg Castle

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