The ruin of Rafenstein is located in the north west of Bolzano along a former important trade route.
Castel Rafenstein has been constructed by the Bishop of Trento Friedrich von Wangern in order to control trade relations between north and south. For this reason the complex was of great importance in Mediaeval times as well as in the beginning of the modern era.
Castel Rafenstein has been constructed in the 13th century, at least the great hall and the circular wall. In the 14th century a tower, outer ward and the southern wing were added. In the 16th century the outer ward was enlarged. Later on the residential part of the building has been raised and probably also some windows were added.
The castle, which today is only a ruin, has been inhabited by many lords. Only in the 19th century it started to decay. Rafenstein can even be reached by car, but the road is rather steep and narrow and only recommended to those who are experts. On foot the ruin is easily reachable from San Genesio.