Construction history of the castle

Taufers Castle was built at the beginning of the 13th century on a rocky outcrop that separates the Tauferer and Ahrntal valleys. The main castle consists of a keep and an attached residential tower; another palas (later a granary) is located in the west.

The building site, which is delimitated by the natural terrain, is bordered by a surrounding wall, against which various residential buildings lean. The fortifications south of the keep from the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as the differently shaped embrasures, are significant from the perspective of castle studies. The main gate of the castle complex with a drawbridge was built by the gunsmith of Rodenegg in the 16th century.

Of the interior decoration, the Gothic frescoes in the chapel (1482) and the many wood-panelled and comfortably furnished rooms are particularly noteworthy. Careful restorations were carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries and are being continued by the current owner, the South Tyrolean Castle Institute.

Foundation construction (2 construction phases)
Beginning 14th century
3rd quarter of the 15th century / 1st half of the 16th century
20th century

A Keep
B Palas („Kasten“)
C Wide Tower
D South Wing
E East Wing
F Hunting and forestry office building
G Office building
H Outer castle gate with fortifications
I Blacksmith’s shop
J Ice cellar

1 Entrance
2 Checkout
3 Castle’s Gardens
4 Castle Shop
S Castle Tavern
6 Film projection room
7 WC
8 Castle Courtyard

The History of the Owners

Since the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th century, the area between Birnlücke and the Bruneck Basin was gradually able to develop into an independent rule, after which the dynasty of the noble Lords of Taufers called themselves since 1136. By the 1220s at the latest, the dynasty built a new, spacious mansion, namely Taufers Castle. Even back then, the impressive castle complex was noticeably large with a keep, a residential tower, a palas and other residential and commercial buildings.
Around 1309/15, before the Taufers died out in 1336, a large part of the Taufers rule, which was endowed with high jurisdiction, passed to the Counts of Tyrol and their legal successors, with whom the castle and court ultimately remained until 1813 and 1829 respectively. They appointed administrators from the beginning and, from 1504 onwards, pledged Taufer’s castle and court to the Lords of Fieger, who are responsible for the significant late Gothic expansion that is still visible today. Numerous owners followed until the fiefdom was converted into property under private law in 1813. Already in an advanced state of decay, the castle came to Ludwig Lobmeyr in 1903. The latter gave the ruins new life and equipped the castle with numerous furnishings. Unfortunately, there were major transfers of ownership in the 1920s. With the titular abbot Hieronymus Gassner OSB, Lobmeyr’s commitment was continued, particularly with regard to the interior design, but also with regard to the reconstruction of the collapsed keep. Since the 1960s, tourism has been the only significant source of income for the maintenance of the facility.
In 1977, Taufers Castle came to the South Tyrolean Castle Institute, which has been working to preserve it ever since. The voluntary nature of the Association’s leadership, the opening of the castle to interested visitors in return for an entry fee, and the support of public and private institutions have been ensuring the maintenance of Taufers Castle. The special attractiveness of the castle for tourism makes it easier for the South Tyrolean Castle Institute to also implement other Association’s goals. This serves the preservation of the Trostburg Castle, which is located in the Isarco Valley and is also owned by the Association, and which otherwise has no significant income. During the last four decades of administration of the South Tyrolean Castle Institute, all roofs were covered with larch shingles, the former granary was expanded for events, all external and internal facades were preserved and restored, the castle path was redesigned and numerous other maintenance measures were carried out. Additional areas have been opened up for visitors and additional incentives for a visit have been created with exhibitions, events and other attractions.