Kaltern Ruine Laimburg
Kaltern Ruine Laimburg

Varco Castle

Above Vadena in southern South Tyrol, at the height of the Novale al Varco Mountain Saddle, the Varco Castle Ruin is enthroned

On the Monte di Mezzo in south of South Tyrol, a hilltop castle was built in the 13th century which is visible from afar. Constructed around 1230 by the Lords of Laimburg, it served as the court seat of Caldaro. It was first mentioned in 1269 as "vest Layenburg". Varco Castle - "Laimburg" in German, "Castel Varco" in Italian - was conquered twice, in 1339 and 1341, by the troops of the Bishop of Trento under the Rottenburg dynasty: It was already heavily damaged then.

Its heyday lasted relatively short. It was abandoned in the 15th century and already in the 17th century Castel Varco was only a ruin. From 1999 to 2001 it was archaeologically examined, renovated and consolidated by the current owner, the Province of South Tyrol. Today it is known as a hiking destination with a beautiful view on the South Tyrolean Bassa Atesina area and is used as a venue for cultural events. It is open to the public.

Below the ruin there is the agricultural and forestry research centre, which is also called Laimburg and is well known throughout the country. Also the South Tyrolean Province Winery with the Stone Cellar and a technical school for gardeners and farmers bear this name, which they owe to the old ruin on the Novale al Varco Mountain Saddle. And how to reach it? A small road leads both from the side of Lake Caldaro and from Vadena up to the hill on which the castle ruin is enthroned. The route is also popular with cyclists.

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