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.References:
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.