High above the entrance of the Kaunertal valley, there is Castel Berneck, often also called Bernegg.
Castel Berneck is located in the municipality of Kauns at 1,076 m asl. Above all impressive is its location, as the Mediaeval facility is situated at the top of a rock that falls away sharply down into the Faggenbach river and the road of the Kaunertal valley. This castle complex was mentioned for the first time in 1225 AD, but there was even a more ancient fortress before in this place.
The castle repeatedly changed hands in the course of time. Purchased in 1435, the Swiss Hans Wilhelm von Mülinen had the castle enlarged, transforming it to a mighty Gothic facility. In 1499 the emperor Maximilian bartered this castle for Castel Tratzberg at Schwaz, on the one hand for its vicinity to Switzerland that used to be in war with the king, on the other hand due to its strategic position regarding hunting and fishing. Even if the castle had no strategic significance, it secured the traffic route via the Pillerhöhe. In the course of time the castle kept deteriorating. In the 1970s the architect Dipl. Ing. Ekkehard Hörmann from Innsbruck purchased the castle together with his wife and had it restored.
What is so special about the castle? Striking are above all the frames of windows and gates as well as other elements of yellow tuff, a very soft rock type. Likewise impressive is the castle chapel of S. Bartolomeo with its impressive ancient Gothic frescoes. Opposite the castle complex, on the other side of the Inntal valley, there is Castel Laudegg, a restored castle ruin at Ladis.
Where: above the entrance to the Kaunertal valley, municipality of Kauns
Characteristics: known as “the most beautiful Gothic living castle of Tyrol”
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from the beginning of June to the end of September 2020
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