October 2013

From November 3: reduced admission to Trauttmansdorff with the Late-Autumn Ticket - 31.10.13

From Sunday 3 November to Friday 15 November, the last day of the garden season, admission to South Tyrol’s most popular attraction is a special price: € 6.50 instead of  € 11. Entrance is free for children and adolescents under 18 years old.

The 2013 season is slowly coming to an end – before closing the doors, however, the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle and the Touriseum have a special parting gift for visitors: in the beautiful autumn days that conclude the season, when the enchanting atmosphere of Indian Summer is in full swing, you can visit the gardens at the special price of only € 6.50 – and children under 18 years are admitted free. Trauttmansdorff has envisaged this promotion especially for local residents – a reminder that they have a place of such unique natural beauty just outside the front doorstep. This is a perfect opportunity to spend a few quiet and unforgettable hours at the gardens, far removed the chaos of the tourists, enjoying the last warm rays of the sun.

Autumn

Japanese Garden at the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in hues of bright red

In addition to the fabulous fall foliage, there are plenty of other reasons to come and explore the gardens: rice is growing in the Asian rice terraces, on the northern side of the castle while the autumn crocuses, in delicate shades of white and pink, vie for attention in the Palm Grove. The sage collection, which boasts 150 different wild species and cultivars, has reached the peak of its flowering. Several fruits that ripen during this period – figs, chestnuts, olives and pomegranates – also lend the gardens a special charm.

With a little bit of luck, garden visitors may get a chance to have a close-up look at the gardening work that takes place during the fall, which is now in full throttle: at this time, the Trauttmansdorff gardening team is planting hundreds of thousands of bulbs, the splendor of which may be appreciated only in the spring of 2014. But we must reveal a secret here: next spring will be especially colorful and vibrant because hundreds of thousands of spring flowers have been planted.

Empress Elisabeth at Trauttmansdorff - 19.10.13

An illustrious visitor has been announced for Saturday 19 October: Empress Elisabeth, affectionately known as Sissi, would like to visit the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle and the Touriseum in order to stroll once more along the “graceful footpaths strewn with fine pebbles” at her former holiday residence.

Empress Elisabeth will undoubtedly be the star of the show at Trauttmansdorff on Saturday 19 October when her character, dressed in true-to-original clothing, will stroll around the gardens, carrying visitors back into the nineteenth century. The event represents a unique opportunity for visitors to take an unusual souvenir photo from the gardens back home with them.

Sissi

Stroll with Sissi through the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle

A high-profile visit to the Touriseum has also been arranged: Short presentations in Deuster Hall will shed light on the empress’ sojourns at the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle and on her importance for the development of Merano (Meran) as a spa resort town. The ladies of Sissi's court have also assembled: they will offer a theatrical tour of the historical rooms at Trauttmansdorff Castle in which Empress Elisabeth spent two of her four stays in Merano. The first time she stayed at the castle was in 1870. Because she so loved taking long walks and hikes, Sissi built “graceful footpaths strewn with fine pebbles” running through the downy oak forest at Trauttmansdorff Castle. Visitors to Trauttmansdorff use these very paths today if they walk through the gardens along the Sissi Promenade.

Sissi returned to Trauttmansdorff only in 1889: it was 18 years after her first stay at Trauttmansdorff Castle and half a year after the death of her son, Rudolf. The fact that she returned to Merano was likely due to “memories of earlier, happier times,” as the emperor wrote later about the visits to Trauttmansdorff.

The following day, 20 October, the Sissi character will also grace one of the three Trauttmansdorff parade floats during the Merano Grape Festival. The day in honor of Empress Elisabeth at the gardens and her appearance at the Merano Grape Festival will take place in cooperation with Sisi's Road, a cultural route with which the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle works in partnership

Ceremonial harvest of grapes from the Versoaln vine, part of South Tyrol’s cultural heritage  - 16.10.13

On Tuesday 15 October, a celebratory ceremony took place during the harvesting of grapes from the Versoaln vine, the largest and probably oldest vine in the world. The Tesimo (Tisens) Tourism Association, Katzenzungen Castle and the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, which took over patronage of this unique vine in 2006, invited the representatives of the local media and wine experts to a communal harvest. A wine tasting, a tour of Katzenzungen Castle and a Marende snack rewarded the hard-working helpers.

Few know that what is the largest and probably oldest grapevine in the world is located in South Tyrol. People tend to be even more surprised when they discover that  wine is still made from this grapevine, which has been estimated to be 350 years old and covers a surface area of about 300 m2. In order to increase awareness about this fact and to upkeep this unique vine, which has distinctively serrated leaves, the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle took over patronage of the Versoaln vine in 2006. Since then, Laimburg Province Winery, which cultivates the vine, has pressed grapes from the Versoaln vine, making it into a beloved wine.

Veronika Pobitzer, owner of Katzenzungen Castle, Dr. Heike
Platter, director of marketing and corporate strategy for the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, and Thomas Knoll, president of the Tesimo/Prissiano Tourism Association, greet guests.

On Tuesday 15 October, the Wimmen (harvest) of this old vine occurred. “We are very proud of our vine, and want to bring the local people closer to this miracle of nature,” Thomas Knoll, president of the Tesimo/Prissiano Tourism Association, emphasized. Heike Platter, the marketing director of the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, underlines the preciousness of the wine produced from these “history-steeped” grapes: “The Versoaln vine represents a remarkable piece of South Tyrol’s cultural heritage. The grapes that we are gathering shoulder to shoulder today will yield, in combination with grapes from other 120-year-old vines nearby, around 300 bottles of limited-edition wine, as they do every year. This wine is available for those who participate in the Gardens & Wine tour to taste.

All of the guests, including several representatives of the local press, enthusiastically harvested the grapes. After a tour of Katzenzungen Castle, there was a celebration in honor of the venerable vine, complete with local music and a traditional Marende snack.