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Other Castles

Castles

Auer Castle

Thurnstein Castle

Zenoburg

Auer Castle

(not open to visitors)

The “Lords of Auer above Tyrol” are mentioned often throughout the history of Tyrol. This means the fief holders of Auer Castle. After the disappearance of the Auer lords, the castle passed into the ownership of descendants of the Rossis, a Florentine banking family. Subsequently the castle was owned by various noble families. The Count of Khuen-Belasi, a member of the family that currently owns the castle, has recently attempted to return the building, which today is more of a farmhouse, to its original style. Auer Castle is a picturesque medieval building, a closed complex without a keep, with a battlement-crowned curtain wall, a stately residential building, plus servants’ quarters and farm buildings. In addition, there is also a lovely Gothic parlour with wood panels and a chapel with a small winged altar.

Thurnstein Castle

Thurnstein Castle is situated on the slopes of the Mutspitze mountain surrounded by vineyards. Its massive, tall tower is joined to a residential building dating from the 16th century – it was extended in the 19th century and completed in the 20th century. The name Thurnstein first appears in 1478. Subsequently the Castle Thurnstein was in fief to various families. At the turn of the 17th century Thurnstein came into the possession of Alexander von Egen, whose descendants still own it today. At present the castle is a restaurant, where the famous Napoleon wine can be drunk. This type of wine owes its name to the arrival of news of the capture of the French emperor, Napoleon III at Sedan.

Zenoburg

(not open to visitors)

To access the rocky outcrop on which the Zenoburg stands, leave Dorf Tirol in the direction of Meran, turn into the old Jaufenstrasse at Erlenburg and the castle can be found on the left on a rocky spur after a couple of hundred metres. This hill is an excellent strategic location. In the Middle Ages the chapel acquired the character of a palatine chapel and served its historic purpose for several hundred years. Saint Zeno, who lived in the first century AD and is the patron saint of water, had a sanctuary here that attracted many pilgrims. The bones of the Bishop of Augsburg, Saint Valentine, were buried here between 470 and 474, followed by those of the Bishop of Freising, Saint Corbinian in 725. The sanctuary lost its significance after the remains were transferred to Freising. The religious importance of this location declined. Between 1285 and 1290 Meinhard II carried out renovation and extension works. It became the favoured residence of the family of the princes of Tyrol, until Karl of Bohemia destroyed the Zenoburg in the war against Margarethe Maultasch in 1347. The Zenoburg fell into ruins over subsequent centuries. In 1800 it was acquired by the family of Leopold von Braitenberg. Today it is still owned by the family and Dr. Karl von Braitenberg, the senator, has made strenuous efforts to restore the chapel, tower and features of the residential rooms.