Reifenstein Castle

Vipiteno, Italy

Reifenstein Castle (Castel Tasso in Italian) is one of the best preserved castles of South Tyrol. The castle was first documented in 1100 AD as feud of the Bavarian Earls Lechsgmünd, while from 1110 on the castle was enfeoffed to the Lords of Stilves, who proceeded in building the castle and called it “Reifenstein”.

In the following centuries the castle repeatedly changed hands, up to the year 1405, when the Lords of Sabiona came into the possession of Castel Tasso. Afterwards the Archduke Sigismund moved into the castle, who sold the castle to the German Chivalric Order in 1470. Until this Order was dissolved in 1813, the castle remained in its possession and was militarily amplified. Up to this point of time earls of Tyrol played a major role in the organisation of the postal system. After its abolition they were compensated with this castle complex. Today this castle is considered to be the best preserved castle complex all over South Tyrol, as it has never been destroyed or taken over.

Part of the complex is also the little St. Zeno church, at which Bajuwaric tree trunk coffins dating back to the 4th to 8th century have been found. A total of 10 rooms can be visited today, which are still in an excellent state. The donjon of the castle complex dates back to the 12th century, the great hall, however, dates back to the 15th century. Particularly interesting is also the Green Hall with its ornaments and a fantastic late Gothic wooden latticework. Portcullis, torture chamber, court room and a subterranean dungeon characterise the real Mediaeval knight’s castle.

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Founded: 1100
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Giovanni Mario Ferente (3 years ago)
A charming castle dominating the vipiteno valley that keeps its original furnitures and a long history dating back to XI century
Ex-Yu Truck Driver (4 years ago)
Nice Castle
Caleb Cantrell (4 years ago)
Very interesting, historic castle-but private. We climbed up the path to the main gate but it is only open certain hours, only for guided tours (in Italian and German; English by advanced reservation.) It's probably worth the extra effort though, the castle looks in great shape!
Sune Kristian Buhl (4 years ago)
A beautiful old castle with guided tours indoors which is nice and not that common. Please note that the guided tours are in Italian and German. English tours can be arranged but needs to be booked ahead.
C Sup (6 years ago)
Incredible castle! A friend and I were the only two people there for the tour, so we paid for the minimum number of people and essentially got a very nice, personal tour. The guide is a local woman who lives across the highway. Although she wasn't confident about her English (she mostly spoke German and Italian) she did a fantastic job and we had no issue understanding anything. We visited in April of 2010.
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