Buonconsiglio Castle

Trento, Italy

Buonconsiglio Castle was originated from a fortified building was erected in the 13th century next to the city's walls. This first building was called Castelvecchio ('Old Castle'), and was the seat of the Bishopric of Trent from the 13th century onwards to the end of the 18th century. The castle is composed of a series of buildings of different eras, enclosed by a circle of walls in a slightly elevated position above the town.

The Castelvecchio is the oldest and most dominant building of the entire housing development. The Magno Palazzo is the 16th expansion in the forms of the Italian Renaissance, wanted by the Prince Bishop and Cardinal Bernardo Clesio (1485-1539), the third part, in the southern end of the complex is the known Eagle tower, which preserves the famous Cycle of the Months, one of the most fascinating pictorial cycles of profane the late Middle Ages.

Bishop George of Liechtenstein was the first to enlarge the castle, in the late 14th century, turning it into a well-styled residence. The Castelvecchio was further modified by Johannes Hinderbach, who had the double loggiato and the Gothic entrance gate built. In the first decades of the 16th century, Bishop Bernardo Clesio had a new residence, called Palazzo Magno ('Grand Palace') built in Renaissance style alongside the old castle. The last great addition was the so-called Giunta Albertiana, from the name of Bishop Francesco Alberti Poja (1686), with which the Castelvecchio and the Palazzo Magno were united.

The castle remained the seat of the Prince-Bishops until 1803. Used by the Austrians as military barracks and, later, as a jail, it decayed. In the 1920s, when Trento was returned to Italy, it became seat of a National Museum and was restored. Since 1992 it is home to the Provincial Gallery of Art.

According to legend, it was connected by a secret tunnel to the city's cathedral, which allowed the prince-bishops to move unseen between them.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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User Reviews

Long Talker (2 years ago)
WOW, this place absolutely has to be visited, as it is the centre-piece among Trento's sightseeing highlights. Loads of history and beauty of all kinds, all in a very well-maintained and managed museum.
Gail Hunt (2 years ago)
Really interesting and informative tour on this castle soaked in History. Great artefacts on display
HouseCalls for Dogs & Cats (2 years ago)
Give yourself plenty of time! Room after room of beautiful art, interesting history, and really cool stuff. And beautiful views of Trento. Do not miss during your visit to Trento.
Adam Gosiewski (2 years ago)
Spend 2 hours at least. Roman, medieval, baroque, classical even 19th century Austrian. Very stimulating on many levels.
Eric Dorin (2 years ago)
Absolutely fantastic castle with rich history and fascinating exhibitions. Not only the castle itself is beautiful but the views from the top are also great!
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