High above the roofs of Bolzano there are several worthwhile castles.
Image gallery: Castles
Castles in South Tyrol aren’t rare. The valley basin of Bolzano as well as the surrounding hills and slopes boast some truly beautiful buildings. Some of them should definitely be part of your holiday program. You will love it!
> Runkelstein Castle (see picture) towers high above on porphyry rocks at the entry of Val Sarentino. The castle was built in 1237 by the Nobles of Wangen. At the time it actually served as a fortress. Today Runkelstein Castle is a very romantic building, boasting the most comprehensive secular fresco cycle of medieval times. Not for nothing it is also referred to as the Castle of Paintings. As it takes only half an hour of walking to reach it, Runkelstein Castle is an ideal destination of excursions.
> The mighty fortress of Sigmundskron Castle is already seen from far away. Towering on a woody hill at the southern end of Bolzano, it is characterised by thick walls and majestic towers. In 1957, Sigmundskron Castle was the site of South Tyrol’s biggest protest ever. Led by the former South Tyrolean governor Silvius Magnago, several ten thousand South Tyroleans united to protest against the Italian government which had missed to fulfil the Treaty of Paris. What they claimed was that the promised autonomy of South Tyrol would finally become reality. First written documents mentioning the castle, however, date back to the year 945. In the course of the centuries it was partly owned by the clergy. Today, the castle houses parts of the Messner Mountain Museum by famous extreme mountaineer Reinhold Messner.
> Haselburg Castle nestles on a wooded hill slightly above Aslago, a quarter of the city of Bolzano. Built in late 12th century, still today it boasts some valuable frescoes. In 2001/02, the Haselburg Castle was gently renovated. Nowadays it is home to a special kind of inn.
> Rafenstein Castle features a Castle Tavern and is not only an adventurous playground for children, but also a popular place to stop after exhausting hikes.