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

Wroclaw Town Hall

The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.

The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.

Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.

The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.

Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.

The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.

During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.

In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.