Medieval castles in South Tyrol

Leuchtenburg Castle

Leuchtenburg Castle (Castelchiaro) above Lake Caldaro towers into the sky in the surroundings of Castel Varco in the locality of Vadena. The castle was probably constructed in 1250 by the Lords of Rottenburg. The castle complex has been protected by a circular wall which protected the castle complex from assaults. Due to the fact that the position of the castle is not really well-protected it has presumably been construct ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Vadena, Italy

Lebenberg Castle

Lebenberg Castle is located in the midst of vineyards at the slopes of the Marlinger mountain. It was built by Herrn von Marling in the 13th century and in the course of time, mainly in the 16th and 17th century, adapted and enlarged to a palace of an impressive size. The castle is private property and can be visited. Worthwhile seeing is a fresco in the knight’s hall, which depicts the genealogical tree of the the Fuc ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Tscherms, Italy

Fürstenburg Castle

Furstenburg Castle was erected in the 13th century on behalf of the Bishop Conrad of Chur (1272-1282). In the 16th and 17th centuries A.D. it was however restructured according to the style of the time. The oldest part of the castle is the tower which displays walls of a three meters thick diameter.
Founded: 1272 | Location: Mals, Italy

Rotund Castle

Rotund castle was built around 900 by the bishops of Chur. In 1150 the bishop give the castle to noble family Rotund. After the family line died out in 1288 the castle has had several owners. It was restored in the 15th century. The ruin is freely accessible but there is a risk of collapse.
Founded: c. 900 AD | Location: Tubre, Italy

Vorst Castle

Vorst castle was built in the late 13th century. It has been owned by the Vorst, Gomion, Enn and Starkenberg families. Today the castle is in the possession of the Fuchs family and can not be visited.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lagundo, Italy

Trostburg Castle

The impressive Trostburg Castle in Valle Isarco hosts the South Tyrolean Castles Museum. This one of the most famous and splendid castles of South Tyrol is located on an eastern hillside on a natural rocky promontory. The history of the castle dates back to the 12th century - it has been mentioned for the first time in 1173 AD as place of residence of a certain “Cunrat de Trosperch” (Konrad of Trostberg), descending ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Waidbruck, Italy

Reifenstein Castle

Reifenstein Castle (Castel Tasso in Italian) is one of the best preserved castles of South Tyrol. The castle was first documented in 1100 AD as feud of the Bavarian Earls Lechsgmünd, while from 1110 on the castle was enfeoffed to the Lords of Stilves, who proceeded in building the castle and called it “Reifenstein”. In the following centuries the castle repeatedly changed hands, up to the year 1405, when the Lords o ...
Founded: 1100 | Location: Vipiteno, Italy

Goldrain Castle

Goldrain Castle was built in the mid-14th century. The Renaissance portions were constructed in the 17th Century by order of Count Hendl. Nowadays Castle Goldrain is owned by the Laces Municipality and the western regional district Cultural Institute.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Laces, Italy

Maultasch Castle

The ruins of Castel Neuhaus, also known as Maultasch Castle, are located above Terlano (Terlan). Castel Neuhaus is almost imperceptible from the bottom of the Adige valley, only its donjon rises into the sky. The castle was first mentioned in 1228, and was probably constructed as border fortress for the Counts of Tyrol as shelter from the Counts of Bolzano. In the second half of the 13th century slightly below the castl ...
Founded: 1228 | Location: Terlano, Italy

Lichtenberg Castle

Lichtenberg castle was first time mentioned in 1259 and probably built in the early 1200s. It was enlarged in 1315. St. Christine"s Chapel on the adjacent hill was  built in 1575 as a memorial chapel for Khuen-Belasy family.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Prato allo Stelvio, Italy

Brunnenburg Castle

Brunnenburg (Castel Fontana) is situated above the city of Merano, on the outskirts of the municipality of Tirol (Tirolo). Originally built circa 1250, the castle was completely restored and updated in the mid-20th century by Boris and Mary de Rachewiltz, who have made it their home. Today Brunnenburg  hosts an Agriculture Museum, dedicated to ethnology, ethnography and folk arts. Moreover it makes visitors familiar wit ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Tirolo, Italy

Rodenegg Castle

Rodenegg Castle (Castel Rodengo) was built by Friedrich I of Rodank in 1140. The castle is located between Sciaves and Rio di Pusteria in the municipality of Rodengo in Valle Isarco on a small rock outcrop, steeply descending into the gorge of the Rienza river. Castel Rodengo is one of the most majestic fortresses of its time in South Tyrol and you will be astonished by its position and by the large number of rooms and c ...
Founded: 1140 | Location: Rodengo, Italy

Sonnenburg Castle

Sonnenburg castle hill has almost 4000 years history. It has been an early historical settlement, Roman camp, early medieval castle complex, 750 years as a convent, stone quarry, ruins and poorhouse. In 1022 Count Volkhold gave the castle to Benedictines and it was converted as an abbey. The ruins of the apses, which grow out of the rock, archaic and replete with strength, tell of power and wealth, faith and devotion, bu ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Castelbadia, Italy

Haderburg Castle

Haderburg castle (Castel Salorno in Italian) dates back to Middle Ages and is located on a soaring rock spur above the homonymous village. The castle marks the lingual border of German (or bilingual) and only Italian speaking inhabitants (South Tyrol and Trentino). The building is one of the most important monuments of South Tyrol. Castel Salorno has been constructed by the Earls of Salorno in the 13th century. Thereupon ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Salorno, Italy

Mühlbacher Klause Castle

Mühlbacher Klause (Chiusa di Rio Pusteria) castle was built by Sigmund, Duke of Tyrol, between 1458 and the 1480"s. It replaced an older fort, built in the 13th century and which was situated about 600 meters west of the present location. Both fortifications were built here to control the passage through the Pusteria valley which was the border between the counties of Gorizia and Tyrol.  In the 18th century an ad ...
Founded: 1458-1480 | Location: Rio di Pusteria, Italy

Rubein Castle

Schloss Rubein was probably built in the 13th century by the lords of Rubein. The first document of castle dates from 1220. The major restoration took place after 1875 by the Count Brandis and later by Countess Anna Asseburg-Wolff-Metternich and his husband. Their descendants are still in possession. The 21m high tower was erected for the defensive purposes and the castle was built around it. during The late Gothic cha ...
Founded: c. 1220 | Location: Meran, Italy

Warth Castle

The Warth Castle (Burg Warth) was around 1250 to the site of earlier fortified court. Lords of Weineck made the first major reconstruction in in the mid-15th century. The residential buildings were erected in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Founded: 1250 | Location: Eppan, Italy

Haselburg Castle

The first castle built on the rock spur above Bolzano by the Lords of Haselberg dates back to the 12th century. This Haselberg castle is today known as Castle Flavon. Already in those days the fortress boasted a circular wall at its east and south flank, which could easily be assaulted. The great hall was located just above the porphry rocks. It is presumed that also a donjon already existed in these days. Only few docum ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Rafenstein Castle

The romantic ruin of Rafenstein castle rises high above the city of Bolzano at the entrance of Val Sarentino. The complex was constructed in the 13th century by the Bishop of Trento Friedrich von Wangen in order to control the commercial relationship between north and south and in order to keep the sovereignty of Bolzano. As this is also where an important commercial road passed by, this castle in the Mediaeval and stil ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Katzenstein Castle

Katzenstein Castle in Meran (Merano)  was mentioned in 1258. It was largely rebuilt in 1580 and extensive restorations were carried out in 1860s. In 1938 Josef Menz purchased the castle. His family it is still lives in the castle today.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Meran, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.