Tyrol Castle

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Tyrol Castle
Tirol Castle as seen from Dorf Tirol

Tirol Castle as seen from Dorf Tirol

Alternative name (s): Castel Tirolo
Creation time : before 1100
Conservation status: preserved, museum
Geographical location 46 ° 41 ′ 39.8 "  N , 11 ° 8 ′ 42"  E Coordinates: 46 ° 41 ′ 39.8 "  N , 11 ° 8 ′ 42"  E
Castle Tyrol (South Tyrol)
Tyrol Castle
Tyrol Castle
The view from Dorf Tirol down to Tirol Castle

The Tyrol Castle in Tirolo near Merano in the Burgraviato was the ancestral seat of the Counts of Tyrol and the cradle of the County of Tyrol . Until the 15th century, when the political administration was relocated to Innsbruck , which is more convenient in terms of transport , the castle , which is now in South Tyrol , was the residence of the sovereigns. In 2003 the South Tyrolean State Museum for Cultural and State History was opened at Castle Tyrol .


The castle hill has been inhabited since prehistory . Numerous finds and a burial ground from the early Middle Ages bear witness to this . The archaeologists also uncovered an early Christian church with three apses .

In the course of the 12th century, the Counts of Tyrol , a noble Bavarian family, managed to create their own territory in the southern part of the Duchy of Bavaria , starting from Castle Tyrol and the Vinschgau , with the County of Tyrol and in the 13th century during the imperial Time to get recognized. The Counts of Tyrol were initially bailiffs of the bishops of Brixen and Trient , but soon expanded their land at the expense of the bishops and competing noble families (such as the Counts of Eppan ) and made themselves independent of them and of the Bavarian duke (deposition of Heinrich the Lion in 1180 ). In 1253 they were inherited by the Meinhardins , after the male line died out in 1335, the land came alternately to the Luxembourgers and the Wittelsbachers . In 1363 the daughter of the last Meinhardiner, Margarete Maultasch von Tirol , bequeathed her land to her closest relative, the Habsburg Rudolf, the founder, in agreement with the estates . In the Treaty of Schärding in 1369, the Wittelsbachers also recognized this decision.

The first castle complex was built before 1100. The second construction phase of the dynasty castle, to which the keep also belongs, is dated to 1139/40 . A third major construction phase falls in the second half of the 13th century under Count Meinhard II of Tyrol. Thanks to intensive building research at Tirol Castle, a total of 30 building phases from the 11th century to modern times have been secured and documented by building analysis.

In March 1347, Margarete von Tirol successfully defended Tyrol Castle against Charles of Luxembourg (later Emperor Charles IV ).

The castle remained the residence of the Tyrolean sovereigns until 1420, when Duke Friedrich moved the residence to Innsbruck with the empty pocket . Late medieval finds such as a brigantine and a Venetian lead seal document this phase.

In modern times, parts of the castle fell into disrepair or fell into the so-called "Köstengraben". It was even sold for demolition to be used as a quarry. In the late 19th century, the ruined parts of the castle were restored by Friedrich von Schmidt in the neo-Gothic style and in 1904 the keep was raised.

The frescoes in the castle chapel and the magnificent Romanesque portals with lavish sculptural figures in marble , some of which show mythical creatures , religious motifs and geometric ornaments , are particularly interesting from an art-historical perspective. The remarkable Gothic " winged altar of Tyrol Castle " from the upper floor of the chapel was removed in the 19th century and is now in the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum ; it was replaced by a true-to-original replica by the artist group Unika from Val Gardena . The altar shrine in the basement is the work of Hans Klocker.

Tyrol Castle has been used as a museum since the early 1980s. Since 2003 it has been the seat of the South Tyrolean State Museum for Cultural and State History.

The State of South Tyrol organizes representative events at Castle Tyrol, such as medals or special political gatherings. On November 23, 2019, 100 years after the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Germain and 50 years after the South Tyrolean People's Party approved the “ South Tyrol Package ”, the Presidents of Italy and Austria, Sergio Mattarella and Alexander Van der Bellen , took part together take part in a ceremony.

Facilities around Tyrol Castle

The original route to the castle led around the moraine slope on which Rubein Castle stood. Due to the steep and impassable terrain, the Tyrolean administrator Jakob Andrä Vogelmayr had Schneeberger miners drive an 83.5 m long tunnel, the so-called “Knappenloch”, through the slope in 1682 . At the entrance of the tunnel there is still a relief image with the inscription: "Leopoldus I imperator gloriosus viae istius autor" ( Emperor Leopold I , glorious author of this path). Another reason the construction was for nearly 700 years on November 19, the feast day of St.. Elizabeth , committed anniversary of the Tyrolean princes and all members of the House of Habsburg .

Immediately next to the castle is a falconry with a care center for bird fauna.



  • Leo Andergassen : Castle Tyrol: Residence castle of the Tyrolean counts (=  castles . Volume 13 ). Schnell and Steiner, Regensburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-7954-2937-9 .
  • Martin Bitschnau , Walter Hauser: Building history of Castle Tyrol in the High Middle Ages (1077 / 1100-1300). Preliminary report on the building history investigations 1986–1994. In: Tyrolean homeland . NF Volume 59 (1995), pp. 5-18.
  • The secret of the Turris Parva. Traces of the high mediaeval past in Castle Tyrol . With contributions by Martin Bitschnau, Walter Hauser, Petr Hlaváček, Barbara Lanz, Martin Mittermair, Wolfgang Neuner, Kurt Nicolussi, Walter Oberhuber, Hannes Obermair , Klaus Oeggl , Harald Stadler and others. Irene Tomedi. Innsbruck 1998, ISBN 3-900773-18-1 (= NEARCHOS, special issue 1)
  • Julia Hörmann: Castle Tyrol. Tappeiner AG, Lana 2004, ISBN 88-7073-297-7 .
  • Hans Nothdurfter: Castle Tyrol. South Tyrol Regional Monuments Office, Bozen 1986.
  • Südtiroler Landesmuseum Schloss Tirol (Ed.): Wall Show. Castle Tyrol building and monument. Castle Tyrol 2016. ISBN 978-88-95523-33-0
  • Südtiroler Landesmuseum Schloss Tirol (Ed.): Schloss Tirol. Tyrol Castle from its beginnings to the 21st century. 3 volumes: Building history. Plan folder. Room book. Arranged by Walter Hauser and Martin Mittermair. Castle Tyrol 2017-2019.
  • Oswald Trapp : Tiroler Burgenbuch. Volume II: Burgrave Office . Publishing house Athesia, Bozen 1980, pp. 57-103.

Individual evidence

  1. Gertrud Mras: The grave slab of Lobecena from the early medieval church on the castle hill of Tyrol Castle from an epigraphic point of view. In: Tyrolean homeland . 68, 2004, pp. 5-10.
  2. ^ Südtiroler Landesmuseum Schloss Tirol (publisher): Schloss Tirol. Tyrol Castle from its beginnings to the 21st century. 3 volumes: Building history. Plan folder. Room book. Arranged by Walter Hauser and Martin Mittermair. Castle Tyrol 2017.
  3. Christa Angermann: The Brigantine Symposium at Tirol Castle (= building research at Tirol Castle. 3). Bozen-Innsbruck 2004, ISBN 88-901142-3-1 .
  4. Hannes Obermair: Venice in Tyrol - the Venetian lead seal of Tyrol Castle. In: Klaus Brandstätter (Ed.): Tyrol - Austria - Italy. Festschrift for Josef Riedmann . (= Schlern writings 330). Innsbruck 2005, pp. 525-531.
  5. ^ Gerhard Seebach: The Romanesque portals on Castle Tirol. A building historical study. In: A Prince's Dream. Catalog of the state exhibition Schloss Tirol-Stift Stams. Dorf Tirol 1995, pp. 79-93.
  6. Gert Ammann : On the history of the provenance of the altar of Tyrol Castle. In: Publications of the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum. 80, 2000, pp. 57-66.
  7. Mattarella and Van der Bellen in South Tyrol: The visit program. Autonomous Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol, November 22, 2019, accessed on November 24, 2019 .
  8. Information board at the Knappenloch.

Web links

Commons : Schloss Tirol  - Collection of images, videos and audio files