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Möderndorf castle near Hermagor

"Gailtaler" Native Museum Georg Essl
Möderndorf Castle
Möderndorf near Hermagor on the road to the Egger Alm
Museum for national culture in the Carnian Region.


Ethnologically and socio-historically noteworthy collection from the three surrounding valleys (Gailtal, Gitschtal and Lesachtal)
300 million years old fern (syringodendron) from the Carnian Alps
Luther Bible from 1541 (print. Hans Lufft)
Original "Gailtaler Kess´n" ( wooden barn) with agricultural utensils
Adventure station "Carnian cycle path" including museum gift shop.



Möderndorf Castle and its history

Möderndorf Castle reflects the history of the middle section of the "Gailtal". It is noticeable for its three-floor dice shaped construction form and is surrounded by buildings for agricultural use. Different architectural styles are obvious in its construction. The name of the castle appears for the first time in the parochial register of 1331 of Hermagor, where it is called "nicolaus ecclesiasticus de moderendorf". There is testimony of a certain Oswald von Möderndorf in 1375, we learn about a Siegmund Weidegger in 1458, both feudal tenants of the Count Palatine of Görz.
These estates of Görz fell to the Emperor Friedrich III by the peace of Pusarnitz. The Habsburgs awarded Möderndorf to the Earls of Salamanca-Ortenburg. The "Herren von Rettenbach" were to follow them in the C17, and the Wiedmann were next and finally Duke Johann Ferdinand Porcia bought Möderndorf on October 8th,1662. Thus, the castle was bestowed with the country´s jurisdiction. Numerous administrators of justice held office there. The Waldner family have been the owners from around the middle of the last century onwards. "KR "Georg Essl bought it from them. It´s Georg Essl who made the building available to the cultural support club "Gailtaler Heimatmuseum" to establish and run a native museum.
In 1982 the building, showing heavy damage, was reconstructed and renovated by the cultural support club with the help of Carinthia and the township of Hermagor-Pressegger See, as well as numerous donors and helpers.
The castle houses the regionally and socio-culturally important collection of the Essl family of Hermagor. The exhibtion is enrichened by different exhibits borrowed from all over the country. The Essl family collection was started at about the turn of the century by Georg Essl the older and continued by "KR" Georg Essl. The founder of the "Gailtaler" native museum is therefore Georg Essl the older.
According to the economic structure of the region of Hermagor, trade and commerce have always played an important part.
An important part of the museum is dedicated to the presentation of craftsmanship. Today, many of these once important trades are not being practised any longer.


Ground floor
room 1 geology and mineralogy (about 300 million years old fern "syringodendron" from the Carnian Alps)
room 2 archaeology
room 3 mining industry dedication Georg Essl
room 4 prisons and tools show
First floor
room 5 entrance room (furniture, porcelain and pipes)
Entrance/exit café and ticket office
room 6 history of Hermagor
room 7 tradition, native costumes and artistic works of art
room 8 hunt, fishing, agriculture and forestry
Second floor
room 9 music and medicine
room 10 former courtroom - boardroom of the administrator of justice (at certain times special exhibitions and events)
room 11 archives (documents and deeds)
room 12 educational system
room 13 sacred implements (Luther Bible of 1541, print. Hans Lufft, etc.
Third floor
room 14 military
room 15 trade and commerce
room 16 ceramic, glass, textile manufacturing, pottery (black-, brown and green eartenware)
room 17 development of alpine sports
room 18 smoke - kitchen



Museum Hours 2019
The museum is open from April 30 till October 11 - 2019
from Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
July 02 till September 8 - 2019
also on Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Visitors´preregistration : Tel.: 04282 - 3060
Reduced fee for guests and groups from 15 persons onwards


Join the cultural support club "Gailtaler Heimatmuseum" - Georg Essl Application forms are to be had at the museum and in local banks. Annual fee : EURO 23,- You help establish and maintain the Gailtaler native museum.