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.



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Via Rafenstein, Bolzano, Italy
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Paola Ossanna (2 years ago)
I only stopped for a drink so I can't judge the cuisine. The terrace overlooking Bolzano is truly the highlight! Great for a stop after the climb to reach the castle.
Antonio Giannoccari (2 years ago)
Location beautiful to visit and challenging to get there on foot but once you arrive you feel proud for having reached a good altitude around 600 my. At an altitude of the castle, seeing it from below gives you an incentive to go and visit it
Hannes Waldmüller (3 years ago)
Always worth the money and what a view!
Matteo Bertoldi (4 years 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 (4 years ago)
Very good, down to earth. Adventurous approach
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