Forts, castles and estates
Some eighty forts and castles along the South Tyrolean Wine Road reflect the turbulent history of the region and bear living witness to a bygone era.
Erected as fortifications on strategic hills, the forts and castles between Salorno/Salurn and Nalles/Nals served as residences for wealthy aristocratic families, who also flaunted their wealth through magnificent furnishings. The strongest castle in the land was Hocheppan Castle, dating back to the 12th century. The Counts of Appiano/Eppan had the castle built in 1130 and chose the rugged cliffs above Missiano/Missian as an excellent vantage point. The well-preserved castle chapel with its 13th-century Romanesque frescoes is regarded as the “Sistine Chapel of the Alps”. This cultural treasure is waiting to be discovered on the Three Castles Hike, which links Hocheppan Castle to the castles of Korb and Boymont. Runkelstein Castle, located near Bolzano, meanwhile contains the largest medieval non-religious frescoes in existence: the paintings date from the 14th century. Numerous castles now offer visitors the chance to enjoy something to eat or drink, while you can easily reach these witnesses of the past via well-signposted hiking trails.