Rafenstein Castle

Bolzano, Italy

The romantic ruin of Rafenstein castle rises high above the city of Bolzano at the entrance of Val Sarentino. The complex was constructed in the 13th century by the Bishop of Trento Friedrich von Wangen in order to control the commercial relationship between north and south and in order to keep the sovereignty of Bolzano. As this is also where an important commercial road passed by, this castle in the Mediaeval and still in early modern times was rather significant.

In these days Castel Rafenstein was only composed of a great hall, a low donjon as well as a circular wall. Only in the 14th century an outer ward, a bastille and a southern wing were added to the complex. In 1357 the castle was owned by Franz von Ravenstein. As his son died very early, the possession was handed over to the Goldegg family, thereon it was bequested to the Weinecker family. From 1500 to 1599 Sigmund Gerstl and Hans Wueff owned the castle, afterwards the Earls of Wolkenstein took it over.

The most significant construction phase of Castel Rafenstein took place in the 16th century, when the Mediaeval complex became a late Gothic building. Only in the 19th century, when they did no longer inhabit the castle, it began to decay. After extensive stabilisation works and renovation works in the last years, the ruin of Castel Rafenstein is now accessible again to the public. Closeby there’s a restaurant, named “Schloss Rafenstein”, offering homemade South Tyrolean specialities.



Your name


Via Rafenstein, Bolzano, Italy
See all sites in Bolzano


Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

More Information



4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Matteo Bertoldi (12 months ago)
You eat well (Frittatensuppe and veal cutlet), drink a little less (avoid the loose St. Magdalena, bad) and the outdoor terrace is splendid, with a view over the whole of Bolzano. Unfortunately, however, the service was unsatisfactory: when we arrived, our reserved table was not yet available, which is why we sat outside. The bread, despite having been requested several times, never arrived, the table was prepared in the best possible way. To a hint of criticism the answer was "we have too many tables and too few staff"; it is better to change something.
Mr. X (13 months ago)
Very good, down to earth. Adventurous approach
Margret SE (2 years ago)
Cozy place
Isabel Biasion (2 years ago)
Die Lage ist schön. Service ist nicht freundlich (wir wurden weder freundlich begrüßt noch willkommen geheißen) es ist nicht normal dass die Gäste die Gastgeber begrüßen. Das Essen war durchschnittlich bzw. es wurde die falsche Bestellung gebracht(statt Rindfleisch, Kalbfleisch). Jedoch meldeten wir dies nicht da wir bereits 45minuten darauf warteten. Es ist normal dass viel zu tun ist, jedoch hatten alle um uns herum bereits gegessen. Leider bin ich ziemlich enttäuscht, war bereits vor 2 Jahren zu Ostern da und es war top. Aber heute kann ich dies leider nicht sagen! Wir wurden als Gäste nicht geschätzt und dies wurde uns auch mitgeteilt.
Andrea Gelmetti (2 years ago)
Posto incantevole, che domina la città di Bolzano. Per arrivarci abbiamo fatto una strada asfaltata, molto ripida, circa il 35% di pendenza (il difficile è stato scendere). Ci si può arrivare anche in auto, c'è il parcheggio. Si mangia bene ed i prezzi sono inferiori a quelli del centro di Bolzano. Ci tornerò sicuramente!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.