San Zeno Castle is located at the entrance of the Val Passiria in exposed position.
The rock, called Zenoberg or Mount Zeno, on which San Zeno Castle is located is a strategic point in the municipal area of Tirolo village. Already Romans established a checkpoint to control trade routes, the so called Castrum Majense. In Middle Ages, to the honour of St Zeno, a chapel was established, which used to be a pilgrimage site for a long time.
At the turn of the millennium the religious importance of the chapel diminished, and the building kept deteriorating. So in the 13th century a fortification was built under Meinhard II, who used it as seat for his reign. When Tirolo Castle in 1301 was destroyed by a fire, the seat of the Counts of Tyrol was transferred to San Zeno Castle. In 1347 Charles IV from the House of Luxembourg destroyed the castle and from this point of time it has no longer been rebuilt.
In 1799 Leopold von Braitenberg, owner of the nearby Stemmerhof farm, purchased the castle and provided for its consolidation. Castel San Zeno has only been preserved in its substance, but it cannot be visited.