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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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ian Tipton (2 months ago)
The tower has a lot of exhibits, many of which have descriptions in English. The tour of the tower was a slightly frustrating. It’s beautiful but unfortunately you can’t do it at your own pace. You have to view it in groups and listen to very long and earnest audio descriptions on your audio guide at each stage before you can move on to the next one. Still worth a visit though.
Frank Xiong (3 months ago)
Just mind blowing ?, a must visit! End up spending 3-4 hrs there. The artwork, architecture, and history are just beyond words! You need to see itself to be able to experience it!
Niesjen Ipema (4 months ago)
Beautiful museum with beautiful highlights. Sadly I got a little lost at some point, not knowing which direction I had to go for the stuff I had not seen, but apart from that it was a very nice experience.
Robert Elliott (5 months ago)
Excellent old castle with interesting museum. For 10E see the castle and grounds. Well worth the visit. About half of the exhibits have an English translation. Otherwise very good
Jr. Carlos Nava (5 months ago)
This place was incredible. The first castle I have ever visited. Now, I have to go see more of them. The history, the walls, columns and ceilings; it was all incredible. We took the tower tour, with audio. Wow, fascinating. The frescos of the seasons in the 2nd tower. Holy cow. What a sight.
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