Castel Roncolo

Castel Rondolo, which is also known as “Painted Castle”, rises on a porphyry rock high above the roofs of Bolzano.

The Mediaeval castle is located on a protected porphyry rock on the outskirts of Bolzano (Bozen), along the Val Sarentino road. Castel Roncolo - “Schloss Runkelstein” in German - 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 hunting scenes. In 1237, the original complex was built by the Lords of Wangen, and in 1385, the wealthy merchants Franz and Niklaus Vintler purchased it. This family had it decorated with frescoes 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.

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 frescoes 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 a donjon, which had to be reconstructed. In 1672, a lightning bolt caused a fire which destroyed the east part of Castel Roncolo, which has no longer been renovated.

From the 18th century on, it was no longer inhabitated kept deteriorating. Only when Josef con Görres recognised the value of the frescoes and reported it to Ludwig I of Bavaria, architects and artists started examining the paintings. Soon after, parts of the north wall collapsed and destroyed great parts of the valuable frescoes. In 1883, Franz Joseph I of Austria received Castel Roncolo as donation from Archduke Johann Salvator of Austria, ad solemnly donated it to the citizens of Bolzano in 1893. Today the venerable walls can be visited and offer also a castle tavern. And how to reach Castel Roncolo? From the parking space beneath it, a paved path leads in a few minutes to the castle. Alternatively a half an hour walk leads from the historic town of Bolzano to the castle, or the free shuttle service takes you there (starting point: Piazza Walther square).

Winter opening hours: from November 2, 2018, to March 14, 2019
from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
Mondays closed
closed on Christmas (Dec 24 - 25), New Year’s Eve and New Year

Summer opening hours: from March 15 to November 1, 2018
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
free with the Museumcard or museumobil Card

Further information:
phone: +39 0471 329808,

Suggested accommodations

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  3. Hotel Post Gries

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  4. Parkhotel Luna Mondschein

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  5. Parkhotel Holzner

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