Kapelle DJI
Kapelle DJI

St. Stephen’s Chapel in Montani di Sopra

One of the most extensive Gothic fresco cycles of Tyrol can be admired in the “Sistine Chapel of South Tyrol” in the Val Venosta.

Near the two castle ruins of Montani di Sotto and Montani di Sopra, on a rock spur at the entrance to the Val Martello valley in the municipality of Laces, the castle chapel dedicated to St. Stephen - "Stephanus-Kapelle Obermontani" in German, "Cappella di Santo Stefano" in Italian - is located. This patron saint of coopers, coachmen, bricklayers, stonemasons, grooms, weavers, tailors and carpenters is venerated as a martyr in the Roman Catholic Church. The little church dates from the 14th or 15th century, but a small church probably stood here long before.

The chapel can be visited and is a real cultural highlight! The entire interior is decorated with magnificent wall paintings, which form one of the most extensive Gothic fresco cycles of Tyrol. Some of them - such as the Adoration of the Kings and the Evangelists - were realised around 1430/40 by a Lombard painter's workshop. Others - including the Passion Cycle and the Last Judgement - were made by a Swabian workshop (2nd half of the 15th century). Nobody would suspect this from the outside, because the small Romanesque chapel, measuring 8.7 x 8.2 metres, appears very simple at first sight. The original manuscript of the Song of the Nibelungs from 1323 that was found here, on the other hand, is today kept in the Berlin State Library.

The Saint Stephen's Chapel is administered by Tyrol Castle, which houses the South Tyrolean Museum of Culture and Provincial History, and is one of the 25 partner sites on the "Alpine Road of Romanesque Art", which also includes the Saint John Abbey in Müstair on the Swiss border and the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Maria in the Val Venosta valley. And how to reach it? From the car park in Morter at the entrance to the Val Martello valley, a 15-minute walk leads up to the chapel.

Contact info

More information

The St. Stephen's Chapel stays closed in winter, the summer season 2023 will start in April.

Suggest an edit/correction

Our editorial staff is always committed to ensuring the highest quality and accuracy of the information we publish. If you have suggestions to improve this page you can send them to us using the form below. Thank you in advance!


Suggested accommodations

Tips and more infos