dorftirol schlosstirol
dorftirol schlosstirol

Tirolo Castle

The well-known Tirolo Castle above Merano tells of mighty counts, the region of Tyrol and birds of prey

On a majestic hill towers Castel Tirolo, the ancestral seat of the Counts of Tyrol (Counts of Val Venosta). It was this magnificent castle that dominated not only the near-by hamlet of Tirolo but the entire region of Tyrol. Did you know for instance that South Tyrol got its name from this castle? The first castle was built around 1100. The curtain wall, dating from this period, is among the oldest still preserved ones all over. The second construction phase under the Counts of Tyrol dates to 1139/40, the third phase, however, took place under Count Meinhard II in the 13th century.

Until 1420 the impressive building was the residence of the territorial princes, then their office was transferred to Innsbruck. Its time of prosperity began with Margaret, Countess of Tyrol, nicknamed Margarete Maultasch in the 14th century. At the end of the 16th century the deterioration of the castle started. In 1816 the city of Merano bought it and gave it to Emperor Francis I. shortly afterwards. But it was Friedrich von Schmidt, a famous architect and freeman of Vienna, who restored the caste in neo-Gothic style at the end of the 19th century. Today Tirolo Castle is owned by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.

Nowadays Tirolo Castle hosts the South Tyrolean Museum of Cultural and Provincial History, opened in 2003, illustrating the history of Tyrol from its beginnings to the present. A museum tour includes the southern palace with its famous Romanesque portals, the frescoes in the double chapel, the wedding chamber of Margarete Maultasch and the former dungeon, where the history of the 20th century is depicted on 20 different levels. Afterwards you might visit the fascinating birds of prey and watch them flying as there is the Bird Care Centre Castel Tirolo right near-by.

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Castle and museum stay open from March to mid-November, season start 2024 on March 15.

Furthermore, Tyrol Castle is accessible in December 2023 (more precisely from December 1 to 3 and from December 8 to 10) for the "Tyrolean Advent in the Castle" Christmas Market.

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