Medieval castles in South Tyrol

Moos-Schulthaus Castle

Moos-Schulthaus is composed of several residential and farm buildings and combines Castel Moos with the Schulthaus Residence. The history of both, once in separated ownership, dates back to the 13th century. In 1958 the merchant Walther Amonn from Bolzano purchased the castle and had the residence restored. In the course of these works, whitewashed frescoes of the period around 1400 AD were discovered. Since 2013 Castel M ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Eppan, Italy

Annenberg Castle

Annenberg castle was built in the 13th century (first mentioned in 1252). At the end of the 15th century the castle was largely extended by the lords of Annenberg and the ring wall with the four towers was laid out as a consequence of the Swabian War. The castle started to decay at the end of the 17th century.  The central Palas was restored to habitable again in the early 1900s.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Latsch, Italy

Ried Castle

Ried Castle is a rather small castle probably built around 1200. It was extended about 50 years later. Towards the end of the 13th century, the castle was owned by the von Wangen family. Today, the well-preserved castle is privately owned and can not be visited.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Wehrburg Castle

Wehrburg Castle was built in the 13th century (the lord of Wehrburg-Andrian was already mentioned in 1229). The castle was owned by the Morand family from 1411 to 1798. They restored the castle in 1520. The chapel dates from the 15th century. Today Wehrburg is a hotel.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Prissiano, Italy

Dornsberg Castle

Tarant noble family founded Tarantsberg castle in 1217, later named as Dorenberch and Dornsberg. The St. Ursula chapel was probably built between 1270 and 1280. From 1699 the castle has been owned by the counts of Mohr, Giovanelli and Fuhcs families. After the end of WWII the building was damaged, but in 1964 the Gottschall family from Munich purchased the castle complex and had it restored with the utmost effort. Sti ...
Founded: 1217 | Location: Naturno, Italy

Lamprechtsburg Castle

Lamprechtsburg castle consists of a simple Palas, keep, farm buildings and chapel. It is surrounded by the curtain wall. The chapel is mentioned in 1075 or 1090 and the wooden fort was replaced by stone castle in 1225 by the lords of Lamprechtsburg. In the 1570s extensive restoration work was carried out. In 1812, the estate was sold to the priest Joseph Hauptmann, whose descendants are still the castle owners.
Founded: 1225 | Location: Brunico, Italy

Obermontani Castle

Obermontani Castle was erected in 1228 by Albert II of Tyrol as defence against the Bishops of Chur. This is the place where the original handwritten copy of the 'Nibelungen' was found (now in the public record office of Berlin-Dahlem). The castle is not accessible.
Founded: 1228 | Location: Laces, Italy

Reinegg Castle

Reinegg castle was built in the mid-13th century, and is recorded in 1263 as being owned by the countess Elisabeth von Eppan. Ten years later, ownership was transferred to count Meinhard II of Tyrol. Over the centuries, fiefs were granted to a number of different families until in 1635, Reinegg castle came under the ownership of Bolzano merchant David Wagner. In 1861 the Wagner family was elevated to Counts of Sarthein; t ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Sarentino, Italy

Sprechenstein Castle

A striking feature of Sprechenstein castle is the circular castle keep dating from the 13th century. The great hall and chapel (dedicated to St.s Erasmus) with its small winged altar as well as the murals and frescoes were created in later centuries. The castle and its works of art were hit by bombs in the Second World War and later restored. Since the end of the 18th century Burg Sprechenstein has been owned by the Auers ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Campo di Trens, 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 ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Eppan, 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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kromeriz Castle and Gardens

Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).

It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.

After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.

UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.

Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.