Castel Roncolo

Region: Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol

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Castel Roncolo, or Runkelstein Castle as it is also known, dominates the city of Bolzano from the top of an imposing rocky spur. Its construction began in 1237 by order of noblemen Friederich and Beral Vanga. However, the period of its heyday began in 1385 when two brothers of bourgeois extraction, Niklaus and Franz Vintler, acquired the manor house. Not wishing to be outdone by the aristocratic dynasties of their time, they had the entire castle decorated with a series of magnificent frescoes, representing a unique testimony of the chivalrous courtly life and fashions of the time. To this day, Castel Roncolo preserves the largest cycle of profane frescoes from the medieval period.


In 1390, the Vintler family had a ‘Summer House’ erected next to the main Romanesque-style building. Inside are not only frescoes using green pigment depicting the legend of Tristan and Isolde by Gottfried von Straßburg, but also one of the oldest fresco representations of King Arthur's Round Table. In contrast to the chivalrous and literary themes both inside and outside the Summer House, the Western Palazzo of Castel Roncolo offers representations of daily life at court, while the Jousting Hall displays an impressive wall painting of a tournament with lances. The frescoes of Castel Roncolo, in their entirety, offer us a unique and valuable glimpse into the world of chivalry from the past, showcasing the attire worn by nobility and the tournaments that used to take place. They simultaneously serve as a priceless painted gallery.

Besides the eventful history that characterises Castel Roncolo, the real attraction lies within, in the Western Palace and the Summer House, where the frescoed chambers house the largest cycle of profane painting from the Middle Ages. The Castle is a sort of ‘illustrated’ fortress, with images that seem to emerge straight out of a fairy tale, guaranteed to thrill and delight visitors of today. It was also a source of fascination during the Romantic period, resulting in Castel Roncolo being the most drawn, painted and photographed castle of the 19th century, hence its being considered the epitome of an ‘illustrated fortress’. With its fabulous play of light and shadow, the Middle Ages were intertwined here with the later Renaissance, Romanticism and contemporary eras.


The Castle is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission at 5.30 p.m.).

Winter hours (from 2 November to 15 March): from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission at 4.30 p.m.)

Guided tours in English on request (minimum of 10 people). Daily guided tours in German at 2.30 p.m. Daily guided tours in Italian at 3.30 p.m.


  • Adults: € 8
  • Family ticket (2 adults with children under 14): € 16
  • Guide supplement: € 2.70
  • Reduced price ticket (groups, over 65, etc.): € 5.50

For groups, reservation is required. Please write to us at

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