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, above Vadena, 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 are the agricultural and forestry research centre, which is also called Laimburg and is well known throughout the country, and the locality of Stadio-Castelvarco which belongs to Vadena. In the other direction, in the forest west of the castle, rises the Castelchiaro Ruin, which can be seen from Lake Caldaro. And how to reach Varco Castle? A small road leads both from the side of Lake Caldaro and from Vadena up to the Novale al Varco Mountain Saddle.

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