Castle Tyrol

Tirol Castle or Castle Tyrol (German: Schloss Tirol, Italian: Castel Tirolo) is a castle near Meran, Italy. It was the ancestral seat of the counts of Tyrol and gave the region of Tyrol its name.

History

The castle hill has been inhabited since ancient times. Several artefacts and one field of graves from the early Middle Ages have been identified. Archeologists have excavated a church with three apses dating from the early Christian period.

The first castle was built before 1100. The second construction phase including the keep dates to 1139/40. A third phase of construction took place in the second half of the 13th century under Count Meinhard II. The castle was the seat of Tyrol's sovereigns until 1420, when Duke Frederick IV moved the seat to Innsbruck.

In modern times parts of the castle fell into the so-called "Köstengraben", a steep gorge. It was even sold in order to be used as a quarry. In the 19th century the castle was restored; the keep was rebuilt in 1904.

Regarding art history, the frescos of the castle's chapel are of special interest as well as two Romanesque portals with opulent marble sculptures showing legendary creatures, religious themes, and geometric ornaments.

Today, Castle Tyrol houses the South Tyrolean Museum of History. Next to the castle there is a falconry with a nursing ward for birds of prey.

  • Exterior

  • Courtyard

  • Romanesque portal of the castle's chapel

  • Portal of the chapel, detail