A seat of power built on a spur overlooking the roads of communication towards the Valli Giudicarie, Stenico Castle dates back to more than 2000 years. It was first built as a refuge for the Stoni - a proud Alpine population exterminated by the Romans - from which the town takes its name.
The castle history is closely tied to the Prince-Bishops of Trento, who also used to administer justice. Legend has it that prisoners were left to die of starvation in the hunger tower, and that their restless spirits still appear on full-moon nights.
In the 18th century, the castle saw the beginning of its decadence with the Napoleonic occupation. The first refurbishing works began in 1910 and were later continued in 1973 by the Autonomous Province of Trento.
Visitors can access the castle on a steep ramp connecting the piazza to the town of Stenico. The frescoes housed in the main rooms are of particular interest. Nowadays the castle is an important venue and hosts exhibitions, photographic and contemporary art contests as well as concerts and other performances. Furthermore, it also hosts a prized archaeological section dedicated to local history as well as a furniture, paintings, arms and ancient tools exhibition borrowed from the collections of the Museum of the Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento, of which it is a branch.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.