Castelvecchio Ruin

The fortress dating back to the 12th century is located above Siusi allo Sciliar, at the foot of the Sciliar massif.

Castelvecchio Fortress is located at 1,273 m asl in a dense forest at Siusi allo Sciliar. First mentioned in 1186 AD, the castle was inhabited by Eckhard von Villanders until 1367. His grandson, the minnesinger Oswald von Wolkenstein, later on inherited one third of the castle complex of Castelvecchio, while Knight Martin Jäger was owner of the other two thirds. Nevertheless the castle was not inhabited by none of the two. When Oswald von Wolkenstein wanted to marry Margarete von Schwangau at the age of 14, he needed a habitation befitting his social status, and for this reason he tried to make a conquest of the whole castle complex. As he did not have the money he summarily occupied the castle. This struggle ended in 1427, when Oswald solely obtained the castle. In these years also the famous “Hauensteinlied” song was composed (Hauenstein is the German name of the castle) by the famous minnesinger.

In the 16th century Christoph von Wolkenstein acquired the castle and had it extended, but already a century later it kept deteriorating. In 1976/77 restaurations were carried out and inside the chapel remainings of frescos were layed open. In the course of these works a bronze sword and other items have been found, dating back to Mediaeval times. Today Castelvecchio Fortress is in possession of the diocese Bolzano-Bressanone and only some murals have been preserved. The ruin is open to the public and can be reached on foot from Siusi within half an hour.

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