Historical Background

Schloss Porcia was built in 1534 on behalf of Count Gabriel of Salamanca-Ortenburg (1489-1539). The Spanish treasurer and confidant of Emperor Ferdinand I. Salamanca had acquired the County of Ortenburg from Ferdinand on March 10, 1524 and commissioned Italian architects with the planning and construction of the castle, which was to be completed more than 60 years later in 1597/98 under his successors. The facade along the street and the courtyard with its columnar architecture and three-story arcades are more typical of an Italian urban palazzo than of a castle.

The lineage of Salamanca died in 1620, the county Ortenburg and with her the castle first went into the possession of the Bürgerfamilie Widmann. In 1662, they sold it to the Porcheone-born Italian noble family Porcia, who at the time bought up several properties in Carinthia and to whom the castle owes its present name. Prince Johann Ferdinand of Porcia, a minister of Leopold I and 13 of his descendants resided there until 1918.

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The princes of Porcia sold the castle to the Klingerstorff Baron Klinger, who subsequently auctioned off the entire inventory in a three-day auction for lack of money. From the original furnishings, only those magnificent pieces of furniture are preserved, which are exhibited in the Museum of Folk Culture in the castle in the "Fürstenzimmer". In 1930, the municipality of Spittal first acquired the castle park and finally the building itself in 1951. From the beginning, the aim of the community was to make the castle accessible to the public and to establish it as the cultural center of the city. Since 1958, the Museum of Popular Culture has been housed on the second floor and in the attic. The first theatrical performances took place in 1959 and the first choral performances in 1964.

Today, the Renaissance Porcia Palace, with its unique arcade courtyard and sprawling halls, is a worthy setting for social and cultural events. Throughout the centuries, traditional princely splendor has been combined with modern cultural awareness.