Rodenegg Castle (Castel Rodengo) was built by Friedrich I of Rodank in 1140. The castle is located between Sciaves and Rio di Pusteria in the municipality of Rodengo in Valle Isarco on a small rock outcrop, steeply descending into the gorge of the Rienza river. Castel Rodengo is one of the most majestic fortresses of its time in South Tyrol and you will be astonished by its position and by the large number of rooms and cellars of the complex.
The Lords of Rodank were significant ministerials and up to the extinction of this house around 1300, the castle was in possession of this family. Thereupon Castel Rodengo was subject to territorial city administration for 200 years, until it passed on to the Counts of Wolkenstein-Rodenegg. In the 16th century the castle has been expanded by the family of the famous minne singer Oswald von Wolkenstein and transformed into a majestic building. Still today offsprings of this family are in possession of the castle and parts are even inhabited. Inside the antique walls there is also a museum.
The majority of the furniture of the showrooms date back to late Renaissance. Unique and capturing is above all the famous “Iwein cycle”, which has been discovered and layed open only in 1972. This fresco cycle to the Iwein epos of Hartmann von Aue represents the oldest profane mural paintings in the German speaking area. Probably it was painted between 1200 and 1220. The 11 paintings, which can be admired in the tap room of the castle, narrate the legend of Iwein, one of 12 knights at the court of King Artus.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.