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.



Your name

Website (optional)


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


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Richárd Vámossy (2 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 (2 years ago)
Interesting but not a must
Xander Haijen (2 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 (3 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 (3 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.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Narikala Castle

Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.

The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.