Juval Castle (Italian Castel Juval) is located at the entrance of the Schnalstal valley. It derives its name from the Latin name of the mountain, Mons Jovis (mountain of Jupiter).
The oldest account of the castle dates to 1278, when it was owned by Hugo of Montalban. It was probably constructed about thirty years before the first account referencing it. In 1368, it was acquired by the lords of Starkenberg, and in 1540, it passed to Sinkmoser. The period from its construction to the mid 1500s was the castle's heyday.
After several more changes of ownership, in 1813, it was sold to a local farmer, Josef Blaas. The castle fell into disrepair, until in 1913 William Rowland carefully restored it.
Since 1983, it is the summer residence (July and August) of famous mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who has partially converted it into a museum displaying works of Tibetan art and a collection of masks from five continents. A later restoration of the castle was presided over by Vinschgau architect Karl Spitaler. It is one of the venues of the Messner Mountain Museum. The museum is closed in the summer months, when Messner resides in the castle.
Around the castle there is a path open to the public along which there are informational signs relating to the botanical features on the grounds. For private individuals, the castle is accessible only on foot with an hour-long walk or by using a special bus service.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.