Marvel at the extraordinary cycle of frescos that portray court life and legends in this castle, which stands precariously atop a large rock.
The Runkelstein Castle, known in Italian as Castel Roncolo, is a stunning complex with an intriguing history. Explore the medieval structure, admire the acclaimed frescos and marvel at the excellent views of the Talvera River and the scenic South Tyrol terrain below.
Discover the history of the castle, which was originally built by the Lords of Wangen in 1237. The castle passed through the hands of several noble families, each making their mark on the architecture and décor. Parts of the structure were destroyed in a 16th-century gunpowder explosion and a 17th-century fire caused by a lightning bolt. Following restorations at the end of the 20th century, it opened to the public as a museum.
Inspect the famous frescos inside the castle, which are noted for their literary themes as well as their depictions of court activities, such as hunting, fishing and dancing. Book a guided tour in advance for even greater insight. Many of the artworks were commissioned by the wealthy Vintler family who lived here during the 14th and 15th centuries.
Head to the summer house in the northern part of the castle to see more frescos. These reference the love story of Tristan and Isolde and the Arthurian tale of Garel of the Blooming Valley. Temporary art exhibitions are also held at the castle.
Spot outdated features, such as the old water cistern and the outdoor toilet. Enjoy a meal at the Inn Restaurant in the castle’s central courtyard.
The castle is open Tuesday through Sunday. There is an admission charge and guided tours incur a small additional fee.
Find Runkelstein Castle on the eastern flank of the Talvera River, less than 10 minutes from Bolzano’s center by car. Free shuttle buses run from Walther Square during summer, while public buses also bring visitors to the bottom of the castle, from where it is just a 10-minute walk up to the entrance. Walking all the way from Bolzano will take around 35 minutes.