"Pallottinerschlössl" am Mönchsberg
The Johannesschlössl is a small chateaux on Mount Mönchsberg that belongs to the Catholic order of the Pallottiner, who manage the facility as a combination of a monastic building, youth hostel and educational venue. The monks are the reason why the chateaux is sometimes also called Pallottinerschlössl; older names refer to other owners of the castle and include Thennschlössl, Altschlössl and Dekanatsschlössl.
The term "Schlössl" means "little palace" or castle. The Johannesschlössl can be accessed rather easily by car from the district of Mülln. The core of the castle was probably built in the 14th century, but it is unclear by whom. According to a later plate the Knights of Weitingen were the first owners of the facility - alas, historians think that this claim is wrong, since there is no other indication that this family has existed in Salzburg at this time.
The first known owner was Georg von Tenn (sometimes spelled Thenn), who was the landlord of the Johannesschlössl in 1565. It changed owners a couple of times until Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau buyed it in 1589.
The Pallottinerschlössl since the 17th Century
Wolf Dietrich is the father of Salzburg′s Baroque face and he also shaped the Johannesschlössl by building a chapel dedicated to St. John - the origin of the "main" name. Then he lost interest in the property and traded it for a piece of land in today′s Altstadt (City Centre). The new owner (and former owner of the Altstadt property) was the Domkapitel, the Salzburger Dom cathedral management.
The Domdechant ("facility manager"?) of the cathedral, Anton von Thun, lived here after 1595. In 1603, the successor as a Domdechant called Johann Kraft von Weitingen renovated the chapel - this is when historians believe the incorrect claim for the von Weitingen building the castle in the first place originates from.
Recent History of the Johannesschlössl
The glorious days of the Johannesschlössl - by then called Dechanatsschlössl - ended, when the new owner Domdechant Christoph von Liechtenstein traded the castle again. The new owners changed repeatedly and the building decayed. In the 19th century, it was an inn and a match manufactory. In 1892, a wealthy Russian officer called Basilius von Paschkoff purchased the place. Following the October Revolution in Moscow, many aristocratic Russian emigrants lived here.
In 1926, the order of the Pallottiner purchased the Johannesschlössl and made it their centre for Austria and Southern Germany. It became an educational facility and dormitory for students of divinity at Salzburg University until 1941. In 1944, a bomb hit the castle and damaged it severely.
The entire southern wing had to be reconstructed until 1954; later, the castle got a new chapel that was consecrated in 1964. The turbulent history of the past 200 years explains why the Johannesschlössl is a bit of a patchwork and not overly appealing by architectural standards. It is nonetheless a popular place to stay at among people who want to spend some time in Salzburg in spiritual tranquillity.
Hidden Treasures of Salzburg
Official Website of the Pallottiner Monks & Johannesschlössl
Pallottiner Monks in Austria, official Website