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Castel Forte/Trostburg


In the Eisack Valley, the village of Gardena Bridge/Waidbruck is dominated by one of South Tyrol's largest fortified complexes. The history of the building had begun at least as early as the 12th century, as evidenced by a document declaring it to be inhabited by a descendant of the lords of Castelrotto/Kastelruth, close by the Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm. The succession of estates was followed by the ruling family in Velturno/Feldthurns, the Counts of Tyrol and, finally, the dynasty of the von Wolkensteins. It is thanks to the latter that the conspicuous 16th–17th century extensions with the addition of large reception areas were undertaken, culminating in the layout that the castle has today.

The von Wolkenstein family would remain rulers for more than six centuries: as early as the turn of the 15th century with the presence of the great poet, composer and traveller Oswald, and in the 17th century with the Renaissance-style renovations ordered by Baron Engelhard Dietrich. The castle then fell into a state of decay, which was finally brought to an end towards the end of the second millennium by the Südtiroler Burgeninstitut or Institute of South Tyrolean Castles. Decisive restorations were carried out and the Südtiroler Burgenmuseum or Castle Museum of South Tyrol: there are about eighty scale models to be viewed.

The building itself is in excellent condition, with walkways, 16th–17th century panelling, stucco work and Renaissance furnishings. The inlaid wooden coffered ceiling in the Knights' Hall, a splendid gothic parlour and the frescoes in the chapel are particularly noteworthy. However, please note that it can only be reached on foot from the village below: in a quarter of an hour along a mediaeval paved road or in half an hour on a less steep slope.

Castel Forte/Trostburg
Via Burgfrieden, 22, 39040 Ponte Gardena BZ, Italia
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