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Velturno Castle/Schloss Velthurns


Johann Thomas von Spaur, prince-bishop of Bressanone/Brixen, had chosen a beautiful location in the Eisacktal Valley towards the end of the 16th century to have a summer residence built, including a deer enclosure, a fish pond and an aviary. The fence, tank and aviary are gone, but everything else has remained almost entirely intact.

Following the death of von Spaur, the building had passed to his successor prince-bishops for them to use during their summers, a custom that was only broken at the beginning of the 19th century with the secularisation ordered by Napoleon. Although time has passed, Castel Velturno has come to the present day with every right to be considered both an excellent example of a late-Renaissance South Tyrolean residence and a museum house, that is, a dwelling that retains substantial traces of those who desired it and inhabited it.

Graffiti and a sundial decorate the façades, but the interiors are especially lavish. Even more so than on the first floor where the guests stayed, it is on the second floor that the rooms are unusually spacious, with decorations, elegant inlays in the wood panelling typical of the parlours, coffered ceilings, each different from the other, and many wall paintings. In the Prince's Extraordinary Room the coats of arms of the von Spaur family, the diocese and the bishopric stand out on the ceiling, while the inlays on the walls depict hunting scenes and architectural motifs, and the doors look like church façades. The blue majolica of the colossal stove reproduces scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The frieze is an overview of the Wonders of the World: there are eight instead of the canonical seven, because it was customary in the area to also include the nearby Novacella/Neustift Abbey.

Velturno Castle/Schloss Velthurns
Via Paese, 1, 39040 Velturno BZ, Italia
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