Porcia Castle is located in Spittal an der Drau, Carinthia,
Austria. It was built as the residence of Gabriel of Salamanca (1489/90–1539), the Spanish
chancellor and financier of Ferdinand I, King of Bohemia.
which was intended as the seat of the Salamanca family, was started by Gabriel von
Salamanca-Ortenburg in 1533. It took his sons and grandsons about 60 years to complete it, but the
original design was followed owing to a wooden model supplied by the architect and mentioned in
architect is unknown, but he must have been one of the Lombards from the area of Lake Como who were
responsible for introducing the Italian Renaissance to northern Europe.
striking parallels between Schloss Porcia and the contemporary Belvedere (started
in 1538) at Prague Castle, by Paolo Stella, although the exterior of Schloss Porcia is a less
up-to-date version of an Italian Renaissance palace.
Porcia Palace was designed as a cube with three main
storeys and an attic, and with circular towers at the north-west and south-east corners. The
exterior façades are rather plain, the most notable features being two sets of triple-arched and
balconied windows on the first and second floors. The courtyard, however, is unexpectedly splendid,
with three storeys of arcades running around three sides of the court.
These arcades are adorned with sculptural decoration of
rich imagination by local craftsmen.Both stone-carving (e.g. in capitals, doorframes,
figural medallions and reliefs) and stucco (e.g. arcade vaults and interior ceilings) were
employed; the ground-floor arcade spandrels display emperors’ heads in medallions, with
ancient gods, heroes and animals appearing above. Doorframes are richly embellished: one on
the third floor, for example, is flanked by columns and has jambs decorated with allegorical
In 1662 the
princely Porcia family acquired the former Schloss Salamanca, retaining the
building until 1918. The magnificent Baroque coat of arms above the main entrance and another on
the south wall of the courtyard are evidence of their ownership, from which the palace derived its
In 1951 the
Porcia Palace became the property of the municipality, and currently houses a
museum of local history.
Porcia Palace Map
Porcia Palace is located at the following adress in Spittal an der Drau,
Carinthia, Austria: 9800 Spittal an der Drau, Austria.
To get directions use this map:
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