Tyrol Castle was the ancestral seat of the Counts of Tyrol and gave the whole Tyrol region its name.

The castle hill has been inhabited since ancient times. Several artefacts and one field of graves from the early Middle Ages have been identified. Archeologists have excavated a church with three apses dating from the early Christian period.

The first castle was built before 1100. The second construction phase including the keep dates to 1139-1140. A third phase of construction took place in the second half of the 13th century under Count Meinhard II of Gorizia-Tyrol. In 1347 Meinhard's granddaughter Countess Margaret of Tyrol was besieged here by the forces of the Luxembourg king Charles IV. The castle remained the seat of Tyrol's sovereigns until 1420, when the Habsburg archduke Frederick IV moved the administrative seat to Innsbruck north of the Brenner Pass.

In modern times parts of the castle fell into the so-called 'Köstengraben', a steep gorge. It was even sold in order to be used as a quarry. In the 19th century the castle was restored; the keep was rebuilt in 1904.

Regarding art history, the frescos of the castle's chapel are of special interest as well as two Romanesque portals with opulent marble sculptures showing legendary creatures, religious themes, and geometric ornaments.

Today, Tyrol Castle houses the South Tyrolean Museum of History. Next to the castle there is a falconry with a nursing ward for birds of prey.

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Founded: c. 1100
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Richárd Vámossy (3 years ago)
Amazing historical place with a nice tiny exhibition and a great surrounding to have a relaxing walk around. Geographically the place belongs to Italy but culturally You can observe the obvious Austrian affect and background. This place is for those who seek for a relaxing day off, some fresh air and quite and charming place. Suitable for families, couples and singles travellers also, but consider that the road at some parts is inclined and might be heavy to defeat relatively small distances at this conditions. Also, the parking places are limited too.
Henrique Silvestre (3 years ago)
Interesting but not a must
Xander Haijen (3 years ago)
A well preserved castle, just a 20-minute hike away from Dorf Tirol. The tour through the castle gives you a clear overview from the castle's history and the history of South Tirol in general. Audio guides are available in English and German, among others, but doing the tour without them is possible as well. Adjacent to the castle, there is a little cafe and souvenir shop.
Jennifer B (4 years ago)
Well worth the visit; spent 2.5 hours there; museum was very enlightening about the Tyrolean culture and history; castle was well maintained; professional staff; nice gift shop with even some interesting bargains on books; small bar within gift shipping serving good espresso and excellent apple juice. I plan to return one day as there numerous castles in the area.
Iris Burks (4 years ago)
Beautiful castle on a hilltop. The way there already promises an exciting experience. A museum which can be enjoyed in an (in our case rainy) afternoon, or spend days here to discover everything about the regional history. Museologicaly beautifully designed in a layered fashion. You can walk by the exhibitions for a brief overview, or pull out every drawer or side panel, access the computers, listen to documentation and watch movies. The tower is a true architectural beauty. The outside consist of the old tower, but the inside is made up out of a very modern metal structure, providing many floors of regional history. The 'more than a tourist' layer is a bit difficult to access when you don't speak German.
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The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

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The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

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The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.