RS ruine laimburg
RS ruine laimburg

Castel Varco

At the Passo di Novale al Varco pass, slightly beneath the Castelchiaro ruin, there’s the widely visible ruin of Castel Varco.

At the height of the small passage between Caldaro and the other side of the Monte di Mezzo mountain ridge, that’s to say the village of Vadena, there’s the consolidated ruin of Castel Varco (Laimburg). The origins of the fortress date back to the 13th century: in 1230 AD it was built by the Lords of Laimburg and some decades later, in 1269, it was first mentioned in written documents as “vest Layenburg”. At that time it served as the court seat of Caldaro.

The fortress can look back on an eventful history: Castel Varco was damaged twice by the troops of the Bishop of Trento, came into the hands of the Rottenburg dynasty and of Frederick IV, Duke of Austria and was abandoned in the 15th century. In the 17th century the once majestic building was already in ruins. With the above mentioned Castelchiaro fortress it was even connected by a tunnel. Between 1999 and 2001, Castel Varco was renovated, consolidated and archaeologically examined by the Province of South Tyrol. Today the remains are freely accessible and offer a wonderful view on the South Tyrolean Bassa Atesina area. The ruin is also a popular hiking and cycling destination as well as a wonderful backdrop for cultural events.

Castel Varco gives its name to the technical school for gardeners and farmers and the agricultural and forestry research centre beneath it, as well as to the South Tyrolean Province Winery with its StoneCellar. And how to reach the ruin? It rises along the Passo di Novale al Varco road - also called Coyote Pass -, which is accessible from Caldaro (Kaltern) as well as from Vadena (Pfatten).

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