schloss runkelstein bozen
schloss runkelstein bozen

Roncolo Castle

Roncolo Castle, which is also known as “Illustrated 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, along the Val Sarentino Road. Roncolo Castle 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. Furthermore, the castle serves as a backdrop for events such as the summer concerts in the courtyard or the open-air theatre performances. In the courtyard there's also a castle tavern.

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. From the 15th century 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 Roncolo Castle, 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 frescoes. In 1883, Franz Joseph I of Austria received Roncolo Castle as donation from Archduke Johann Salvator of Austria, ad solemnly donated it to the citizens of Bolzano in 1893: Today the castle - "Schloss Runkelstein" in German, "Castel Roncolo" in Italian - can be visited. And how to reach it? From the parking space beneath it, a paved path leads in a few minutes to the castle. Alternatively, a half an hour walk takes you there from the old town of Bolzano. In summer, there's a free shuttle service.

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Admission

€ 8.00 adults
€ 5.50 students, seniors 65+
€ 5.50 people with disabilities
€ 5.50 groups (min. 10 persons)
€ 2.50 school classes

€ 16.00 family ticket (2 adults with children under 14 years)

More information

Shuttle service and guided tours are currently not available.

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