Castel Freudenstein or Castel Lodrone (in German Schloss Freudenstein) is a medieval castle in Appiano on the Wine Route (BZ). It stands on a hilly terrace overlooking the hamlet of San Michele.
The first documents date back to 1379, but the construction must be much earlier and is perhaps attributable to the Counts of Appiano. However, it is difficult to be more precise, due to the continuous changes it underwent over the centuries.
The area was ruled by two families: the Eysenbrand von Freudenstein and the Fuchs von Fuchsberg. It is not clear who made it build, but the name leans towards the former. Certainly, from the documents, already in the fifteenth century the Fuchs, which had the entire castle, were the owners.
In the 16th century, Jakob Fuchs had the castle restored and had the chapel dedicated to St. Anne built outside the entrance (1519). When Jakob died, the family died out and the castle passed from hand to hand, rarely being inhabited.
The nobles of Trentino de 'Bellini bought it at auction in 1716 and from these it passed to an acquired relative, Antonio Fortunato di Lodron, from whom Ettore Tolomei wanted to give the Italian name of Castel Lodron to the castle, which never entered the common use.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Baron Seilbald, German ambassador to Tokyo, had Castel Lodrone and its splendid gatehouse renovated, and restored to its present form.
Inside the building there are noteworthy artistic elements, such as the late Gothic carvings inside the chapel, the frescoes in the residential section, an inlaid plank in the north wing, and the charcoal drawings and inscriptions in the main hall .
Characteristics of the castle are the two towers, one with Guelph battlements, the other Ghibelline. Another rather famous aspect is the preservation of a room used as a "drinking room", recognizable by the "vomitorio", with the inscriptions of the old guests.
Today, the castle houses a hotel, while the Castel Lodrone park has been used as a golf course with a Golf Academy.