Watched over by a tower

The medieval settlement of Perchtoldsdorf was "founded" in the 11th and 12th centuries, when a chain of fortresses was built on the eastern flanks of the Vienna Woods.

The name "Perchtoldsdorf" was first mentioned in the records around 1140. The coat of arms awarded to Perchtoldsdorf in 1406 still features in the municipal seal.

In the late Middle Ages, Perchtoldsdorf enjoyed a period of economic prosperity based on the wine trade. This is the time when the buildings were constructed that are still the town’s landmarks. The fortress was built in the form surviving today in the 14th century. For a time it was inhabited by widows of Austria’s Habsburg rulers.

The builders of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna had a hand in the Gothic design of the parish church in the 14th century. The mighty late-Gothic nave was built between 1435 and 1449 under the patronage of Perchtoldsdorf’s most important parish priest, Thomas Ebendorfer von Haselbach. In the early 15th century, Duchess Beatrix von Zollern commissioned the building of a hospital incorporating a single-nave church which has survived to this day in Wiener Gasse.

The Gothic Peel tower was started in 1450 and completed in 1521 after a long interruption. Together with the system of walls, ditches and smaller towers that surrounded the parish church and the fortress, it formed an impressive bastion that could be seen from afar. This masterpiece of late medieval fortress design has been the town’s main landmark for centuries.

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