Architecture, art and museums
That history has a future is nowhere more evident than in South Tyrol's ancient castles, strongholds and charming residences built in the traditional Überetsch style. Whether in their original state or lovingly restored, they bear witness to a glorious past.
Schloss Runkelstein - The "Painted Caslte"
Situated at the entrance of the Sarntal Valley, Schloss Runkelstein offer a unique and uniquely artistic window into life in the middle ages. The castle takes its moniker from the many fescoes on its walls, which capture the life of the Tyrolean aristocracy in vivid detail.
St. Anton Weg 15 | I-39100 Bozen
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The Castle of Hocheppan
Perched high above the village of Eppan, with stunning vistas of the Etsch Valley, Burg Hocheppan is one of the region's most impressive castles. Daily guided tours explore the castle's history, from the three phases of its construction, to a long period of decline, to its recent renovation and current status as one of the most important medieval strucctures in South Tyrol. for art aficionados, the highlight of the tour is the castle's chapel, whose restored frescoes depict both sacred and secular subjects. After a tour, visitors to Burg Hocheppan can fortify themselves with a feast of South Tyrolean specialities in the castle's own restaurant.
Arts and Cultural Monuments
For visitors who wish to journey into the past, the possibilities are endless.
- The Pfarrkirche (parish church) in Terlan was built in the 14th century in High Gothic style. Its frescos, which display the blend of German and Italian influences typical of the "Bolzano school", are a must for any South Tyrolean art-historical itinerary.
- The Gothic Parish church St. Pauls/Eppan, also known as the "cathedral in the country", was constructed from 1460 to 1560.
- The St. Peter Basilica ruins in Kaltern/Altenburg resemble a three-naval basilica from the times of Christianisation (4th Century). In the porphyry rock behind the curch are 10 shell-shaped depressions from around 3000 B.C.
- The Chapel of St. Jakob, high on the hill of Kastelaz, above Tramin, dates to the year 1120. Its interior features artworks ranging from a Romanesque fresco depicting bizarre half-human half-animal beings, to a Renaissance fresco depicting the death of Christ, to works by Ambrogio.
Old, famous & seldom
- The St. Peter church near Auer is a Gothic building from the 15th Century and houses the oldest, playable organ of South Tyrol.
- The Stephan church near Pinzon in Montan is famous for the Hans Klocker altar and particularly worthwhile seeing.
- The Hospice „Klösterle" near Neumarkt, was built in 1220 and extended at the end of 1300. It is one of the four best-maintained hospices in Europe. On his Italian journey, Dürer was supposed to have stayed overnight in this place.
Museums visits offer unique opportunities for deepening our understanding and gaining new insights into art, history, and the world around us. Museums abound, not just in Bozen, South Tyrol's provincial capitol, but throughout the region.
Ötzi - the iceman
The South Tyrolean Museum of Archeology is by far one of the most popular attractions in the region. And while its several exhibits explore different historical periods in South Tyrol, its main attraction is Ötzi, a Bronze Age man whose mummified body and well-preserved personal belongings were discovered in the Ötztal Alps by a pair of German hikers in 1991.
MMM - Messner Mountain Museum
Founded by Reinhold Messner, a climber, writer, photographer, and former member of the European Parliament, the MMM, located in Sigmundskron Castle near Bozen, explores "the subject of mans's encounter with the mountains".
Other museums in the region:
- Schloss Moos-Schulthaus, Eppan - A museum of medieval culture
- The South Tyrolean Wine Museum, Kaltern - Exhibits on the history of wine-making in South Tyrol
- The Village Museum of Tramin - An exhibit featuring agricultural implements and local crafts
- Museum of People Through Time, Kurtatsch - Human history, from the Stone Age to the present
- Museum of Popular Culture, Neumarkt - An exhibit of 19th and 20th-century household culture