prad lichtenberg winter
prad lichtenberg winter

Montechiaro

Montechiaro Castle, a decayed hill castle, once offered a good view over the Val Venosta valley as far as the mighty Coira Castle

The remains of one of the largest castles in the Val Venosta valley can be seen from afar. It is Montechiaro Castle from the 12th century, which towers above the houses of Montechiaro (Lichtenberg) and used to guard the bend in the Adige River between the Upper and the Lower Val Venosta. Next to Roncolo Castle near Bolzano, the famous "Illustrated Castle", it was this ruin that housed some of the most valuable secular fresco cycles in Tyrol. They were removed a century ago and taken to the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck for safekeeping.

Today, the ruins are owned by the Counts Khuen-Belasi and are freely accessible. Combined with a hike, you can admire the frescoes that have remained in the castle chapel and were restored a few years ago. Also recommended is a walk along the Way of St. James, which runs from Glorenza, one of the smallest towns in the Alps, through Montechiaro until Prato.

Montechiaro, the small district of Prato allo Stelvio, offers, besides its ruin, some other interesting buildings, such as the St. Christina on Pinet Church and the St. Joseph Chapel on the mountain of Montechiaro. The Rio Montechiaro flows through the village, where the alleys were called Via del Castello (literally: Castle Path), Lanweg (Lan means landslide in South Tyrolean dialect), Via del Mercato (Market Road) and Via dell'Adige. Below stretch the vast orchards of the Val Venosta, where apricots, apples, raspberries and pears, including the ancient Pala Pear, thrive. Once there were several mills in this part of the Val Venosta, the former granary of Tyrol, which ground rye flour. From here and past Prato you can also start the extraordinary bike tour to the Stelvio Pass.

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