Medieval castles in Trentino

Telvana Castle

The origins of Telvana Castle date back to the Roman age. According to documents the castle was destroyed by the Franks in 590 A.D. while other sources speak of this event in late Medieval times. The primitive core of the castle, dating probably from the 13th century, was built around a single square watchtower, 5 m per side and reaching a height of 26 m. In 1665 it was burned down and was then re-built as a baron"s ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Borgo Valsugana, Italy

Madruzzo Castle

Madruzzo castle dates from the 12th century.  The castle was set on fire and almost completely destroyed in 1703 during the War of Spanish Succession.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Lasino, Italy

Segonzano Castle

The Castle of Segonzano was built in the 13th century on a rock spur, around 100 meters above the valley. The place where it"s placed was probably the site of a prehistoric hillfort. Built by Rodolfo Scancio, on the authority of the Prince-Bishop of Trento, Federico Vanga, the castle served as an important fortified site guarding the trade route passing through the Adige Valley and across the Cantilaga bridge on the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Segonzano, Italy

Nanno Castle

Nanno Castle wass mentioned first time in 1264. The current appearance dates mainly from the restoration made between 1520-1530. The square building is surrounded with a wall and thtree turrets. Today Nanno castle is privately owned and not open to the public.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Nanno, Italy

Valer Castle

Castel Valer is situated near Tassullo in a panoramic position, encircled by hills, which are covered by orchards, and it excels for its faultless elegance. The first document of castle dates back to 1211, when it was a property of the Counts Appiano and it was used as military guard post. It was sold to the Coredo’s and to Sporo’s in 1368, who are still the owners. The tower is 40 metres high. It has an octagonal p ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tassullo, Italy

Spine Castle

Spine Castle was built in the late 12th century and destroyed in 1348. In the 16th century the castle ruins was converted into a hunting lodge. In 1933 a serious fire almost led to complete destruction, only the southern buildings were saved while the other wings collapsed and were never rebuilt. Today only part of the castle is habitable while the rest lie to ruins, although impressive. Spine castle is not open to the p ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Comano Terme, Italy

Vigolo Castle

The castle of Vigolo was erected during the Renaissance in a strategic position over the pass between Vigolana and Marzola, in order to defend the town. The first record of castle dates back to 1214. In 1254 it was besieged and destroyed. In 1424 the castle passed to the family of Murlini and later in 1477 to de Fatis, whose descendants are still the owners. The de Fatis acquired the castle in ruins and rebuilt it almost ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Vigolo Vattaro, 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

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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.