ITALIAN TYROL CASTLE: NOT ONLY FOR HISTORY LOVERS

Justin N. Froyd - Aug 30, 2010
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South Tyrol is a popular tourist destination especially because of the region's rich history. There are some 400 castles, mansions and ruins. Tyrol Castle, which gave the name to the region, is one of them.

 

When in South Tyrol in Italy one should not forget to visit Tyrol Castle, which is not far from the town of Merano. The castle is probably not the most beautiful or the biggest castle in the region but it is quite popular because of its history. After all, South Tyrol is named after the castle. It is located in a strategic place and also offers a beautiful view of the Adige River valley.

Around the year 1140 counts of Vinschgau started to call themselves counts of Tyrol and they had the castle built between 1130 an 1160. It became the most important seat in the region. King Charles IV besieged the castle in 1347 but did not manage to take it. Nevertheless, the event marked the end of heyday for the counts. In fact, soon the family of Tyrol had to give over their power and land to the family of Habsburgs. Their palaces as well as Tyrol Castle were later gained by another family.

The decline of importance of the castle came at the end of 16th century. At that time, the only inhabitants of the castle were a guard, a gamekeeper and a chaplain. The ruins of the southeastern part of the castle were eventually taken apart. The castle was then reconstructed between 1882 -1898 and 1904 -1912. During the reconstruction, however, some parts of the castle were altered.

In 1816 emperor Francis II gave the castle to the town of Merano and after 1919, National Heritage Institute started to take care of the historical building. As Lidovky.cz reports, the authorities of South Tyrol region became responsible for the castle in 1973 and they turned it into a museum and place where various cultural events take place.

 

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