storia castel mareccio bolzano

The History of the Castle: from origins to the modern day

The origins of Castel Roncolo date back to 1237, when the bishop of Trento granted the brothers Federico and Berardo Wangen the right to build a castle on an imposing rocky outcrop near Bolzano.

In 1385, Runkelstein Castle came into the possession of Niklaus and Franz Vintler: two brothers from one of Bolzano’s wealthiest urban families. The brothers extended the structure, transforming it from a practical fortress into an elegant and ostentatious summer residence. The brothers wanted to demonstrate their rise from mercantile bourgeoisie beginnings. For this purpose, they had the castle extensively decorated with magnificent frescoes, which now bear unique witness to the world of the medieval court, chivalry, and popular legend. The Vinter brothers were consequently elevated to the ranks of the nobility in 1392.

In 1490 the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I became the owner of Runkelstein Castle and ordered the restoration of the, by then, decaying frescos.

Later, in 1538, the castle was sold to the Lichtenstein-Kastelkorn family who continued the restoration as well as embarking on a range of Renaissance modernization projects. The 17th century saw the beginning of a period of gradual decline for the castle, until in late 1800s it came into the possession of Hapsburg Emperor Franz Joseph, who had it restored and finally donated it to the city of Bolzano in 1893 at which point the castle became a fashionable destination for excursions and a venue for castle-themed parties and concerts.

In 1971, the film director Pier Paolo Pasolini chose the castle to shoot some scenes for his film "Decameron. In the year 2000, after another long period of closure, castle was again able to open its doors to the public.