- Sigmundskron Castle
Castles & Culture
Firmian | Eppan
Sigmundskron Castle with the Messner Mountain Museum MMM Firmian is located on the Mitterberg, above the village of Frangart | Eppan.
There are mentions of the castle as early as 945 under the name "Formicaria". In the 12th century it was given the name Firmian until the castle was bought around 1473 by the sovereign of Tyrol, Duke Sigmund the Coin Rich. He converted the castle into a fortress and named it Sigmundskron Castle. When he got into financial difficulties and mortgaged the castle, the complex was severely neglected. Over the years, the semi-ruin changed hands several times, was restored and used as a guesthouse before the province of South Tyrol acquired it in 1996. Reinhold Messner received permission in 2003 to integrate his mountain museum into Sigmundskron Castle, which opened in 2006.
Architectural style and special features:
The castle is one of the oldest in South Tyrol, and was built in the High Middle Ages, with alterations taking place in the Late Gothic period. The 5-metre-thick ring walls indicate the fortress architecture of this period. A natural separation between the upper and lower castle is provided by rocks. There is also a restaurant inside, which was once a residential and farm building.
The extensive castle and fortress complex is a particularly important political symbol for South Tyrol. A protest rally was held here in 1957 with 30,000 South Tyroleans gathered, where they demanded autonomy and rebelled against the failure to comply with the Treaty of Paris. Under the leadership of Silvius Magnago, the phrase "Los von Rom" went down in South Tyrolean history.
Various hikes lead past Sigmundskron Castle, and a visit to the Messner Mountain Museum is already compulsory. The focus is on man's confrontation with the mountain and its religious significance, but also with his own limits and the protection of the nature entrusted to him. The White Tower of the castle houses a permanent exhibition on the history of Sigmundskron.