The Hocheppan Castle with its impressive donjon is located high above Missian, a district of Eppan on the wine route (officially Eppan an der Weinstraße). Until today, it ranks among the most important fortresses in Southern South Tyrol and has some surprises in store for art lovers, panorama fans and gourmets preferring proper meals.
The castle in the environs of Eppan was built in 1130 and was, already at that time, one of the mightiest aristocratic houses of the region. After an eventful history, the well-preserved Hocheppan Castle is an impressive witness of the Middle Ages, thanks to its beauty and magnificent panoramic position
Still, from an art-historical perspective, the chapel in the inner courtyard is the heart of the castle, which probably was built in the 12th century. The chapel is called as “Sistine Chapel of the Alps”, because its walls are decorated with well-preserved Romanesque frescos. They are so special, because they do not only show religious scenes. So you cannot only see several biblical motifs, but also the “foolish virgins”, a “dumpling eating woman” and a rare hunting scene.
The chapel and Hocheppan castle are open for visitors (guided tours) daily in summer season. The rustic castle tavern is ideal for a small snack after visiting the castle or during an excursion.References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.