Castles and fortifications in Italy

Kehlburg Castle

The Kehlburg castle was built probably in 933 By the bishop Altwin of Brixen at the hillside over Gais. The most important owners later were the noble family Rost zu Aufhofen, which had the castle in possession for nearly three centuries. After the fire in 1944 where the castle was nearly completely destroyed, the chapel of the holy Erasmus was rebuild so this was used for many years as a much visited pilgrimage. Unfortu ...
Founded: 933 AD | Location: Gais, Italy

Michelsburg Castle

Michelsburg castle was built around 1091. It was one of the most important castles in the western Pustertal. Today it is privately owned.
Founded: c. 1091 | Location: San Lorenzo di Sebato, Italy

Freudenstein Castle

Schloss Freudenstein was built in the beginning of the 13th century. Noble family Fuchs von Fuchsberg extended the originally two small castles complex at the end of the 16th century to an single large castle. The St. Andrew's chapel was built in 1519 and consecrated in 1532. In the end of the 19th century, Heinrich von Siebold renovated and extended the estate into the present appearance. The castle is surrounded by a ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Eppan, Italy

Wangen-Bellermont Castle

Wangen-Bellermont Castle (Castel Vanga) was built by the brothers of Albero and Berchtold von Wangen between 1209-1237 to a relatively remote location. It has been restored twice, in 1277 and 18th century. The castle is privately owned and inhabited.
Founded: 1209 | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Welfenstein Castle

Welfenstein was mentioned for the first time in 1271 when it was owned by Otto Welf from the noble family of Welfsberg. Around 1600 Welfenstein was already left to decay.  From 1893 to 1897 Edgar Meyer erected an almost new castle in Neo-romanticism style.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Vipiteno, Italy

Castelfondo Castle

Castelfondo castle was built in the 13th century. It was besieged by local farmers as part of the peasant rebellion in 1525. Restored in the 19th century, it is today privately owned and not open to the public.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Castelfondo, Italy

Monreale Castle

Monreale (Königsberg in German) castle in Faedo was built by the Appiano family around 1200. During the centuries, the castle was acquired by the Counts of Tyrol , then by the Habsburgs , in the 17th century by Rubin de Cervin Albrizzi and in the 20th century by entrepreneur Karl Schmid. Today it is privately owned.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Faedo, Italy

San Giovanni Castle

San Giovanni Castle, located on a high rock spur near Bondone, has a breathtaking panorama. It was first mentioned in 1086 and formally in 1189. In the 15th century the castle was occupied by Milanese troops. The abandoned and decayed castle was bought by entrepreneur Milan Luigi Cavalli in 1956 who began a renovation to turn it into a private residence. Today it can be visited.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Bondone, Italy

Sporo Castle

Sporo Castle keep dates back to 1165, when it was built to protect an imperial road. The Sporo family owned the castle from 1312 to 1685. The castle was left to decay in 1720 and restored in 2009. The structure consists of a pentagonal keep and walls with four towers that enclosed residential buildings and a chapel.
Founded: 1165 | Location: Sporminore, Italy

Arnad Upper Castle

The upper castle of Arnad is mentioned first time in a papal letter in 1207, but there is no information about its origins or first owners. It was probably built by Saverio di Arnad in the late 12th or early 13th century. The next owners, Vallaise family, lived in the castle throughout the 14th century. Due to the inadequacy of the structure and the lost military function, the castle was abandoned in the 15th century. T ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Arnad, Italy

Orino Castle

Rocca di Orino lies on a rocky spur. The first record dates from 1176, however some fortifications were there already in the Roman ages. The castle was a military stronghold in the struggles between the Guelphs and Ghibellines during the thirteenth century until the victory of the Ghibellines. After the Duchy of Milan was created, the castle lost its purpose. It gradually fell into disrepair.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Orino, Italy

Greifenstein Castle Ruins

Greifenstein castle was first mentioned in 1158. The castle was largely destroyed in the second half of the 13th century during the wars between Count Meinhard II of Tyrol-Gorizia and the Bishop of Trent. The reconstructed castle became property of the lords of Starkenberg after the last member of the family of Greifenstein was killed in the Battle of Sempach in 1386. Greifenstein was besieged for weeks by Duke Freder ...
Founded: c. 1158 | Location: Terlano, Italy

Karneid Castle

Karneid Castle was probably constructed between the late 12th and early 13th centuries by vassals of the Prince-Bishopric of Brixen, an imperial estate of the Holy Roman Empire. The fortress stands perched dramatically on an inaccessible cliff face above the confluence of the Eggental and the Eisack rivers, on the historically resonant ancient border between the kingdoms of the Lombards and the Bavarii. The name 'Karneid ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Karneid, Italy

Ostiano Castle

Castello di Ostiano was built in the 15th century and finalized around 1511. It was partially demolished in 1860.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ostiano, Italy

Belasi Castle

Belasi Castle was probably built during the 12th century and it overlooks the valley from a cliff above the river with the same name, in an area called Lover in the municipality of Campodenno. It belongs to the group of medieval castles that were built on the right bank of Non valley. In the 16th century the castle lost its original functions, which were administrative and of control, becoming a noble residence continuosl ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Campodenno, Italy

Lozio Castle Ruins

Lozio Castle is located above the village named Villa, built in the late 13th century. Today it lies in ruins.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Villa, Italy

Corno Castle

Castel Corno (“Horn”) gets its name from the spur of the cliff on which it stands. Just a few minutes from Rovereto, in a strategic location, Castel Corno offers a unique view, which runs from the flow of the Adige River to the Piccole Dolomiti. Founded around year 1000, it has a structure which perfectly adapts to the territory’s morphology: located on the spur of a cliff, it is divided into an upper and lower c ...
Founded: c. 1000 AD | Location: Isera, Italy

Casarasco Castle

Casarasco castle was built in the 9th century and is one of the oldest in the region. It was one of castles owned by the Malaspina family and was mentioned first time in 1164. The northern wing is only remaining part of the original castle. Today the castle can be reached for example by the nature trail 'Sentiero delle fontane'.
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Val di Nizza, Italy

Borgo Fornari Castle

Castle of Ronco Scrivia was built in the 11th-12th centuries and was a former noble residence of the Spinola. Today only a few fragments remain of the original medieval fortress.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Ronco Scrivia, Italy

Montessoro Castle

According local sources the first castle in Montessoro was built in the 13th century. It was acquired by Spinola family in 1330 and the rebuilt the new castle in the early 15th century. The castle was used until 1797 when it was destroyed and abandoned in wars between French and local armies.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Isola del Cantone, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Petersberg Citadel

The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.

The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.