Discover Clam Castle in the hills of Austria

Where do you have the chance to cross paths with a living Count during an included excursion with AmaWaterways? At Austria’s Burg Clam, it’s all possible when you sail our Melodies on the Danube (Wine Cruise) and Magna on the Danube (Wine Cruise) itineraries.  

A History of Counts 

The Counts of Clam have been living in Burg Clam, or Clam Castle, for over 550 years, although the earliest written record of the estate dates back to 1149. Perched on a hill overlooking the Danube Valley in Austria, the castle was originally a twin-towered fortress, with each tower measuring over 40 meters high. During the 30 Year War the Clam family’s private army defended the property. Parts of Clam were burned down several times; however, the hostile troops never managed to seize the castle. At the end of the war, the structure was in very bad condition. It was under the rule of Johann Gottfried of Clam that the entire building was renovated. He built a church, a hospital, and water pipes for the citizens of the village. During this time, he transformed the fortress into the livable home that still stands today.  

Encounters with the Clam Family 

During our included tour of Clam Castle, it is not uncommon to catch sight of one of the Count’s children playing around the halls, or to cross paths with Count Carl Philip Clam himself. It may seem odd to feel the presence of a family living inside the massive granite walls and among such an outstanding collection of antiques, art and armory. However, there is undoubtedly something homey about Burg Clam. Gain insight into the daily life of a Count while walking through courtyards, the kitchen, and the Count’s favorite room in the entire castle: the Gothic chapel, which the Count believes is inhabited by ghosts!  

A Warm Welcome Back 

Hosting tours and guests is a joy for the Count and his family. During AmaWaterways’ first return visit in 2021, he explained how thankful he was for the chance to share his home with the world. When asked about his relationship with visitors, the Count broke into a smile, explaining, “My wife tells me that when AmaWaterways guests are here I’m always in a good mood.”  

Our conversation took place on the day that Clam Castle reopened after closing its doors for health and safety beginning in 2020. The Count responded to the castle’s renaissance with intent, a bright look coming over him: “It feels like springtime here. Every visitor that comes supports the keeping up of this place. Everyone who comes is supporting this cultural heritage. I have to thank everyone who comes to visit.” 

Wine Tasting – Perhaps With the Count  

Take in the flowering vines that drape over the arches in the courtyard, the masterfully painted portraits lining the walls and the mounted stag heads which seem to be at every turn. While surrounded by this majestic and historic setting, sample a few regional vintages during our included wine tasting. The local wines provided from the village of Krems tend to have pronounced freshness, spiciness, finesse and complexity. While on a tour in 2021, AmaWaterways guests enjoyed the Count’s company during their wine tasting, a very special and exclusive experience. While the Count doesn’t join every tour and tasting, interacting with the guests is clearly a great pleasure for him.  

Keep an eye out for the Count of Clam and his family while exploring the living castle. Contact your preferred travel advisor today to reserve your stateroom on our Melodies on the Danube (Wine Cruise) or Magna on the Danube (Wine Cruise) itineraries. 

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