Castles and palaces in the vicinity of Merano

Castles and palaces in Burggafenamt

Schenna Castle in Schenna

Castle Schenna aboce Merano in South Tyrol.

Schenna Castle is situated above Merano at the entrance to the Passeier Valley.

Schenna Castle lies opposite Castle Tirol, in the village by the same name, at the entrance to the Passeiertal. It was built by Petermann of Schenna, instead of the fortress Schenna in the second half of the 14th century.

The castle looks back on a long history and became itself an important part of South Tyrol’s history. Archduke Johann von Österreich (John of Austria), who bought the castle in 1844, was patron and friend of Andreas Hofer, who fought at the beginning of the 19th century against the reign of Baveria and France.

After his death in 1859 the Archduke had been buried, according to his wish in a mausoleum built especially for him, near to the castle, which is one of the most imporant sacred buildings in the neo gothic style.

The castle is private property and can, like the mausoleum, be visited. Worthwhile seeing is the painting and portrait gallery, the Andreas Hofer collection and the large collection of weapons.

Castle Lebenberg in Tscherms

Castle Lebenberg is located in the midst of vineyards at the slopes of the Marlinger mountain. It was built by Herrn von Marling in the 13th century and in the course of time, mainly in the 16th and 17th century, adapted and enlarged to a palace of an impressive size.

The castle is private property and can be visited. Worthwhile seeing is a fresco in the knight’s hall, which depicts the genealogical tree of the the Fuchs family, who were the owners of the palace until 1826, over 12 generations, and the medieval collection of weapons.

Castle Tyrol in Dorf Tirol

Castle Tyrol is the parent castle of the Land Tyrol. The sovereigns of Tyrol reigned here until the rulers residence had been transferred to Innsbruck in 1420. Nowadays Castle Tyrol houses the South Tyrolean Museum for Culture and History.

The castle’s origins date back to the 11th century. The building happened in 3 stages, whereby the 3rd construction phase in the 2nd half of the 13th century under Earl Meinhard II. was the most extensive one.

The settlement of the castlehill took place much earlier and during restoration works a church had been discoverd, the origin of which dates back to late Roman period (actually it is 3 churches that had been built on top of each other). In a reliquary chamber of this church relics of saints had been found in 3 little silk bags, which presumably come from Constantinopel.

But the secrets of Castle Tyrol are far from being solved and the archeological investigation of the origin and historic development of the castle is until today no yet completed.

Numerous other art historical treasures like the ornated portals in the Romanesque style, the richly adorned winged altar (displayed is a copy – the original is in the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck) and the old frescos in the castle’s chapel make a visit really worthwhile.

More castles and palaces in Dorf Tirol

In Dorf Tirol more castles and palaces are to be found, which testify the importance of Dorf Tirol for the history of the Land Tyrol: Brunnenburg, Castle Auer and Castle Thurnstein.

For nature-lovers a visit of a flying demonstration with birds of prey in the nearby Pflegezentrum für Vogelfauna (nursing centre for bird fauna) is recommended.

Castle Tyrol in Dorf Tirol near Merano.Chapel of Castle Tyrol with numerous early gothic mural paintings.Brunnenburg Castle in Dorf Tirol near Merano.
  • Left: Castle Tyrol is the ancestral home of the Tyrolean earls. The castle’s origins go back to the 11th century.
  • Centre: The lower chapel of Castle Tyrol is particulary, due to the frescos from the 14th century and the portals in the Romanesque style, which are decorated with mythical creatures and religious motives, of art-historical interest .
  • Right: Brunnenburg in Dorf Tirol dates from the 13th century. Today it is a cultural centre and houses also the South Tyrolean Agricultural Museum.

More castles & palaces im Burggrafenamt

Beside the above mentioned castles and palaces around Merano, is a vast number of more castles, palaces and ruins. Many of them are private property and some of them cannot not be visited for that reason.

The emphasis lies on the places Prissian and Tisens, where a number of castles and estates can be found. Amongst them also Castle Katzenburg, where the world’s oldest grapevine can be found.

Some of the castles have been converted into hotels, so that you can spend your holiday in a true castle in Merano’s surround.

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Meraner Höhenweg

The Meraner Höhenweg is one of the most beautiful hiking trails of the alps. The full hike leads around the Texelgroup near Meran and takes several days to walk.