Learn about the connection between man and mountain at adventurer Reinhold Messner’s intriguing museum, which is set inside a 10th-century castle.
The Messner Mountain Museum Firmian is a fascinating mountain-themed museum occupying a medieval mountaintop castle. The museum is one of six institutions set up by famous Italian climber Reinhold Messner, each exploring themes relating to the surrounding mountainous landscape. Appreciate the picturesque woodland scenery as you ascend the paths to reach this castle.
Follow the exhibition trail, which documents the role of the fortress and the surrounding mountains. Peruse the works of art and informative displays that focus on humanity's relationship with mountains. Admire excellent landscape paintings of canyons, cliffs and other rock formations and find out about the history of mountaineering and alpine tourism.
Among the outdoor artworks is a human-like statue made from rocks. Look for a hole in a brick wall, which serves as a viewing point of the scenic mountains on the horizon. Multimedia guides can be rented for an additional fee.
See exhibits documenting the religious and practical significance of the mountain peaks. Discover why the castle is so important to the people of South Tyrol. In 1957, it was the site of a protest when more than 30,000 people came here to campaign for autonomy. The castle is now seen as a symbol of independence.
The interior of the castle has been renovated with a sleek design that lays emphasis on steel, glass and iron. Don’t miss the temporary seasonal displays, which have in the past covered topics such as the role of mountains in wars.
The museum opens in the summer months between March and November and is closed on Thursdays. There is an admission fee; children and students receive discounted prices.
Take a taxi or drive west from center of Bolzano for 15 minutes to reach the Messner Mountain Museum Firmian. Alternatively, ride the train or bus to the Ponte d'Adige/Sigmundskron station and walk south for just over half a mile (1 kilometer).