The museum opened as early as May, but it was not until July that the travel restrictions fell. By the end of the season on 7 November, 12,372 visitors had been counted at Heinfels Castle.
The museum, which tells the story of the castle over several centuries, officially opened for visitors on 15 July last year. "In the first season in 2020, 5,508 visitors came. It was a difficult year because bus travellers and international guests in particular were absent," says museum director Monika Reindl. In 2021, too, there were still many restrictions due to Corona. Reindl is therefore all the more pleased about the strong increase in visitor numbers: "We were able to show guests this exciting building in 870 guided tours with our motivated team." Up to 15 guides were on duty during the peak season. With the so-called "panorama tour", which makes it possible to visit the core castle in the outdoor areas even without a guided tour, additional visitors could be attracted. Next year, special programmes for children and schools are planned to arouse the interest of young visitors.
Events are the second important element of what Heinfels Castle has to offer. Chamber concerts, a reading or events such as the "Count of Castle" attracted culture and sports enthusiasts to the castle. Twelve couples tied the knot in the Laurentius Chapel. Bishop Hermann Glettler consecrated the new guardian angel bell in May and celebrated a rock mass with the young people on the festival square in July. In September, in imperial weather, the "Queen of the Pustertal" could finally be handed over to its intended purpose, also with a lot of VIPs. A total of 1,190 guests came to the various events - in addition to the museum activities.
The first "Heinfels Castle Christmas" on 11 and 12 December is currently being planned. It will be organised in a historical setting by the Musikkapelle Heinfels and the Panzendorf Young Farmers' Association.
A short while ago, A. Loacker Tourismus GmbH also set the timetable for the completion of the gastronomy in the west wing. Together with the tenant, who is currently being sought, the concept and planning is to be worked on in 2022, so that the structural renovation of the west wing can then be tackled in the following years.
Josef Steinringer, president of the museum association, is pleased about the positive development: "It is nice to see that after decades of standstill, life is coming back to the old walls. Many people have worked towards this with enormous diligence and commitment over the last few years.