Castel Rondolo, which is an exemplary castle complex, rises on a porphyry rock high above the roofs of Bolzano.
The Mediaeval castle is located on a protected porphyry rock high above the Talvera river at the entrance of Val Sarentino. Castel Roncolo is particularly famous due to its mundane fresco cycle, one of the largest profane fresco cycles dating back to Mediaeval times. It illustrates authentic knight sagas, literature scenes, court ladies and life on the farm as well as haunting scenes. In 1237 the original complex has been built by the Lords of Wangen. In 1385 the wealthy merchants Franz and Niklaus Vintler purchased the castle. This family had it decorated with frescos and equipped with components that facilitated life in those times, e.g. a pivy and a cistern for water storage. In 1390 the so called “Summer House” was built by order of Nikolaus Vintler. Also the facades and the interior of this building were decorated with frescos.
In the second half of the 15th century Castel Roncolo passed on to the hands of Sigismund of Austria. From now on it continually kept changing hands, the castle was repeatedly modified and frescos and paintings were added. A gunpowder explosion in the southern part of the castle destroyed parts of it in 1520, including a circular wall and donjon, which had to be reconstructed. In 1672 a lightning bolt caused a fire which destroyed the east part of the castle, which has no longer been renovated.
From the 18th century on the castle kept deteriorating. Only when Josef con Görres recognised the value of the frescos and reported it to Ludwig I of Bavaria, architects and artists started examining the paintings. Soon after, parts of the north wall collapsed (1868) and destroyed great parts of the frescos. In 1883 Franz Joseph I of Austria received the castle as donation from Archduke Johann Salvator of Austria, who solemnly donated it to the city of Bolzano in 1893. Today Castel Roncolo can be reached in a walk of half an hour from the old town of Bolzano. Inside this castle there is also a castle tavern.
winter (from November 2, 2016, to March 14, 2017):
from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
closed: Mondays, Christmas (Dec 24 - 25), New Year’s Eve and New Year as well as Jan 9 - Feb 21, 2017
summer (from March 15 to November 1, 2017):
from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm
Mondays closed, except on bank holidays
8.00 Euros (adults)
5.50 Euros (students, seniors over 65)
family ticket available
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