Wolfurt Castle in Wolfurt, Austria

Wolfurt Castle was the ancestral seat of the Lords of Wolfurt as first mentioned in documents dated 1217 and 1226. There is a legend that the ghost of the last Wolfurt knight appears there in the form of a golden snake in the spring. The castle had been privately owned but in 2o17 the town of Wolfurt bought it and plans to open it to the public in the fall of 2018.

Hornstein castle            


Hornstein Castle, Krumpendor, Austria, in the region of Worthersee that was part of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Bequeathed to Ulrich Wolfurt in 1359 by King Louis the Great for his merits in the Neopolitan Campaigns.

  Excavated in 1995, Aerial of ruins

Painting of castle ruins in 1702

                          Vöröskő Castle, Slovakia                      

Bequeathed to the Eglolf Wolfurt (direct ancestor) in 1352 by King Louis the Great of Hungary for providing  4000 mercenaries to help the king conquer southern Italy (Kingdom of Naples). The medieval castle was destroyed and reconstructed in 16th Century.

The histories of the Wolfurts all claim that they descended from a Mc Decor family from Scotland but I could not find any original source for this story. Nor could I find any record of a Mc Decor or Decor family in Scotland. So I thought perhaps it was a mispelling of a name. It had to be a name that wasn't "Wolf" but was associated with a wolf and one that was not too dissimilar to Decor. It seemed like too much of a longshot to find. But just out of curiosity I looked at a list of Scottish clan names on Wikipedia and the first name that struck me was "Dewar." So I clicked on that name and, amazingly enough, here is what Wikipedia had to say about the Clan Dewar:

"As with many Scottish clans a legend exists to demonstrate physical prowess:

There is a tradition that a savage wolf was terrorising the district around  and a reward was offered to the man who would despatch the beast. Dewar is said to have achieved this and received his bounty."

I wasn't sure about the connection until I found this from a German history of the family: "The Lords of Wolfurt first appear in 1219. A local historiean of Wolfurt, Siegfried Heim, traced the name back to a Scottish knight named M'Dewr the Wolf who recieved the castle (Wolfurt Castle) from Emperor Barbarossa as a fief.

In the 14th century the family of Wolfurt knights owned , in addition to the ancestral castle in Wolfurt ten other castles in southern Germany, nine in Hungary and one in Italy (Guglionesi). About 100 years later - in the first half of the 15th century - the clan of the noble von Wolfurt disappeared."


A once moated castle in the Lake Constance district of Baden-Wurttemberg. 'The earliest owners of the Castle Giessen were knights, the Lords of Wolfurt, in the 13th century who had great influence in southern Germany and Switzerland.' Although privately owned it is often open for viewing. It has a beautiful medieval interior:

According to one source the WOLFURTS owned twenty castles. Here are some that I found.


Strangely enough the above clip is from a book about New England families.  

the Wolfurter chalice

"At the time of the heyday of the Knights of Wolfurt, the brothers Konrad and Ulrich appeared, they served as the mercenary leader of King Ludwig I alongside the mercenary leader Werner von Urslingen and conquered the kingdom of Naples in 1348. They plundered the cities of Foggia, Capua and Aversa, among other things, with murder, extortion and arson they made rich booty." According to Siegfried Heim (issue 24, p. 10), the mercenary leader Konrad von Wolfurt donated what is now known as the Wolfurter Chalice to Pfäfers Abbey, a Benedictine monastery. In the donation document dated September 20, 1364 he speaks of feeling remorse for his misdeeds: "Knight Konrad (begs) for the salvation of his soul (...) and for the salvation of all who have been injured by him in body and soul, physical or otherwise." The chalice is now in the Swiss National Museum in Zurich. A copy of it was made in 1985 for the town of Wolfurt in Austria.

the worfurt crest in the zurich roll of arms             


This is the oldest roll of arms known to exist. It has been dated to the year 1340.

You can see the Wolfurt coat-of-arm in the close-up of the Wolfurter Chalice.        Pfaffers Abbey in St. Gallen, Switzerland

Note: "Comes" translates as "Count"