Tirol Castle, Italy
Every person who has been to Austria at least once recalls the name of one of the most Alpinesque of lands, Tirol. There are very few who know, however, that it’s the castle that gave its name to the land, which for historical reasons now finds itself in the Italian Autonomous Province of Bolzano (South Tirol).
The castle is truly impressive. Built on a sheer rock face, it seems inaccessible. We only got as far as the Commune of Tirol by car and had to continue the rest of the long journey to the castle by foot.
Tirol Castle and the way up to it
The commune is a typical Tirol village with a wealth of beautiful houses with wooden façades, balconies covered in flowers and hospitable residents.
When we’d gone about two kilometres to castle I took a few photos.
On the one hand, South Tirol has a typically Austrian character, but on the other hand you can really feel the presence of Italy on the area. That’s why the traditional Italian Vespas are seen quite frequently here.
The path to the castle starts at this sign. The route isn’t easy, especially if you’ve got pushchair, but it really is worth it, as you’re constantly surrounded by beautiful hills, vineyards and orchards. Incidentally, it’s here where I saw persimmon trees and figs growing for the first time.
Fog descended from the mountains, which only added to the castle’s mystery….
The first mentions of Tirol Castle are dated to 1100, when the first fortress was built. The second construction phase was from 1139-1140. In the 13th century, during Meinhard II’s rule, the castle was completely rebuilt and remained a residence of Tirol’s rulers until 1420.
The castle was initially built in the Romanesque style, which can be found in many fortifications of the time. Over the years it became heavily damaged and was reconstructed in the 19th century with elements of Late Gothic architecture.
Despite its partial destruction, an impressive chapel and portals have been preserved in the Romanesque style to this day.
Tirol Castle is one of a collection of castles in the province of South Tirol. When we were going back I managed to catch site of an interesting palace on the next hill. To be continued…
Photographs of this blog post can also been seen in the album. Open»
The castle has its own site: http://www.schlosstirol.it/»
It’s open to visitors from the beginning of Spring to the beginning of Winter.
Opening times vary accordingly, so the best thing to do is check the site before visiting.
Tirol Castle is located 15 minutes by car from the Italian city of Merano and 40 minutes from Bolzano.
It’s not possible to drive right up to the castle, so you’ll have to leave the car at one of two chargeable car parks in the village (one is by the mini-golf course and the other is by the Reiffeisen bank). From there it takes 20-30 minutes by foot.
Display route to the castle» (opens a new window)