Castel Firmiano is located on the outskirts of Bolzano on the right bank of the Adige and is the main site of the museum circuit called Messner Mountain Museum designed and designed by the famous South Tyrol climber Reinhold Messner who has been running it since the summer of 2006.
Castello di Firmiano History
The castle is mentioned for the first time with the name "Formicaria" in approx. The emperor Conrad II in 1027 entrusted the castle to the bishop of Trento. In the twelfth century it was instead entrusted to ministerial staff who from this moment were called Firmian. The gastalds or the castle's burgravi are mentioned since 1144. Since then, several families of ministerial status have been attested that refer to Firmian. These are the families of the Estrich, the Hahn ("Gallus"), the Häring, the Kastraun, the Ripp and the Zungel, all of the XIII century.
The chapel, located on the highest point of the manor, and dedicated to San Biagio and San Ulrico, the bishop of Augusta, seems to be even before the fortification structure, in which it was later incorporated. Legend has it that the saint bishop of the Carolingian age, was passing through the first century for the territory of Bolzano.
Around 1473 the prince of Tyrol, Sigismund of Austria, bought the manor which was turned into a fortress and renamed it Sigmundskron ("crown of Sigismund"). There is not much left of the old Formigar castle and most of the remains are located at the highest point of the fortress. Due to financial difficulties, Sigismondo soon had to seize the castle, which in any case owned a Burgfrieden, or a judicial district subject to the Landgericht Gries-Bozen, the territorial judgment of Gries-Bolzano. From the seventeenth century the complex began to go more and more in ruins.
At the end of the eighteenth century the castle belonged to the Wolkenstein counts, from 1807 to 1870 to the counts of Sarentino, then until 1994 to the counts Toggenburg.
The castle is an important symbol of South Tyrolean autonomy: in 1957 the biggest protest event in the history of South Tyrol, led by Silvius Magnago, was held here. More than 30,000 South Tyrol gathered together to protest against the non-observance of the Paris Agreement of 1946 and to ask for an effective provincial autonomy for South Tyrol, untied by the regional Veto imposed by Trentino (with the famous slogan Los von Trient , or "Via da Trento").
In 1976 the ruins were partly restored by a host family who opened a restaurant there. In 1996 the castle became the property of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano. In the spring of 2003, after much controversy, Reinhold Messner obtained the concession for the construction of his long-established mountain museum.
During the restoration work, in March 2006, a Neolithic tomb was discovered, in which remains of the skeleton of a woman were found. At the moment it is estimated that the age of the tomb oscillates between 6,000 and 7,000 years.
The Messner Mountain Museum, thanks to an important architectural intervention sensitive to the historical context operated by architect Werner Tscholl in 2007, is the main site of the five thematic museums scattered in the central-eastern Alps. The Weißer Turm ("white tower") of the castle is set up as a small museum of contemporary history, while in the wide spaces of the museum area that exceeds 1,100 square meters, the basic theme is man and the mountain with many different objects from all over the world that symbolize the meeting point of man with the mountain. An arena was also built in the castle to host conferences, exhibitions and concerts. From the castle it is also possible to enjoy a broad view of the Bolzanina basin to the north. To avoid traffic problems in the area, a parking area has been created near the motorway exit and the Merano-Bolzano freeway, from which a shuttle service is carried out.
Inside the castle is a restaurant that observes the following times: from the beginning of March to mid-November. From Friday to Wednesday from 10:00 to 18:00.