Arco Castle Ruins

Arco, Italy

Arco Castle ruins are located on a prominent spur high above Arco and the Sarca Valley. The exact date of its foundation is unknown but it existed at least after the year 1000 AD. The area around Arco was inhabited already before the Middle Ages, the castle was said to have been built by the citizens and only later becoming the property of the local nobles.

The counts of Arco, probably of Italian origin, were first mentioned in 1124 deed; they temporarily served as liensmen of the Trent prince-bishops. Though they were raised to comital (Grafen) status by the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II in 1221, they had to acknowledge the overlordship of the Meinhardiner princely counts of Tyrol in 1272.

The Counts of Arco were expelled by the Prince-Bishops of Trent in 1349, whereafter the castle fell to the Veronese noble house of Scaliger. Nevertheless, they regained the castle in a local uprising, and in 1413 further strengthened their position by obtaining the status of Imperial immediacy from the hands of Emperor Sigismund in 1413. However, in the long run, they could not prevail against the mighty House of Habsburg, rulers of Tyrol since 1363. Arco Castle was captured in 1579, and the counts had to submit to the Habsburgs in 1614. Their estates were officially seized by Emperor Leopold I in 1680.

The castle was later abandoned after a siege by French troops under General Duke Louis Joseph of Vendôme in the course of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1703. A careful restoration began 1986 and following others in more recent years restorations have found a number of frescoes depicting knights and court ladies of medieval times.

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Founded: 10th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Matthew Johnston (2 years ago)
Need a good pair of walking shoes. The climb is steep. Not suitable for mobility scooters, to many cobbles. The views are spectacular on a sunny day. See all the way to Riva and lake Garda. Worth 4-5hrs experience and not expensive either.
Andrea Guru (2 years ago)
The Castle and the surrounding medieval town surely deserve a trip. The walk to reach the castle among the olive trees offers a great view and a fascinating path. Take a look at the shots to see what awaits you on top. Paying a fee you can also visit the castle inside.
Joan Jones (2 years ago)
Energetic walk up to the castle Great views from it. Enjoyed the visit
Manuela Corradini (2 years ago)
Lovely place to visit! Amazing views of the valley and frescoes! Unfortunately the castle itself has been badly damaged, but you can catch a glimpse of what life would have been centuries ago by just strolling around.
Matteo Danelli (2 years ago)
Great piece of history and amazing view of the valley. Reasonable price, even that's no guided tours for a few people. I suggest to come here, even if you don't want to enter the castle, because there are a lot of photo opportunities. There is a garden just before the entry, where you can stop for a drink or a bit of relax after the hard hills you need to go up.
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