Sigmundskron Castle

Bolzano, Italy

Sigmundskron Castle (Castel Firmiano) is an extensive castle and set of fortifications near Bolzano in South Tyrol. The first historical mention of the castle dates back to AD 945. In 1027 Emperor Conrad II transferred it to the Bishop of Trent. In the 12th century it was given to ministeriales, who from then on were named the Firmian family. Around 1473 the Prince of Tyrol, Duke Sigismund the Rich, bought the castle, renamed it Sigmundskron Castle and had it developed to withstand firearms. Of the old castle there are only a few remnants left today, mostly located on the highest point of the site. Due to financial difficulties Sigmund had to pledge the castle soon afterwards. As a result the site fell increasingly into disrepair.

At the end of the 18th century the castle belonged to the Count Wolkenstein, from 1807 to 1870 the counts of Sarnthein and from then until 1994 the counts of Toggenburg. In 1976, the half-ruined castle was partially restored by an innkeeper's family and opened as a restaurant. In 1996 the castle passed into the possession of the Province of Bolzano. In the spring of 2003, after much controversy, Reinhold Messner was given a licence for his long-planned mountain museum.

During construction work a Neolithic grave was discovered in March 2006, in which a woman's skeletal remains were found. The age of the grave is estimated to be 6,000-7,000 years.

The fortress is an important political symbol in South Tyrol. In 1957, under the leadership of Silvius Magnago, the largest protest rally in the history of South Tyrol was held here. More than 30,000 gathered in the castle to protest against the failure of the Paris Convention to protest and demand freedom for South Tyrol.



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Founded: 945 AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Stephanie van dalen (2 years ago)
Connecting mountain and people, very nice museum and good exhibition, worthy for the price
MOHE FLORENCE (2 years ago)
This was our last visit in Italy. We’re glad to have stopped by to visit this museum. There is so much to see and learn about alpines. I highly recommend this place!
Yann-Guillaume Jaccard (2 years ago)
The concept of the Museum is great. You walk up and down quite a bit to visit all parts of it, mimicking a mountain ascent. The castle hosting the Museum would be of interest in and itself (nice view over the city of Bolzano) and a lot of exhibits are interesting if you are into mountaineering. The Museum leaves quite a lot of room to the spiritual aspect of the mountains and not just about the technical aspect of climbing them. Even though there are tributes to other mountaineers in the Museum, it still felt too much like an ego trip (hence the 4*). This is strongly felt in the Museum shop where you can purchase 50 different Messner books but not a single book from another mountaineer. Sad.
Dundee Bud (2 years ago)
We visited this with German friends who were familiar with Messner. By using the Bolzano Pass, we had free entry to the site. You need to be able to climb steps to get the most out of the museum. It's worth a visit.
Royal Mangalitsa (3 years ago)
We thought we would make a quick stop but there is so much to see!!! You will need at least 4-5 hours plus good shoes and some condition! Amazing museum we have to come back next year with way more time :-)
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