Trauttmansdorff Castle: Grandeur Amidst Unique Botanical Gardens

Historical events and architectural features of Trauttmansdorff Castle

Trauttmansdorff Castle


The origins of Trauttmansdorff Castle, the architectural centerpiece of the gardens, go all the way back to the Middle Ages. The structure was first documented in 1300 as Neuberg Castle. The medieval walls are still visible on the southwest side, and the crypt dates from that period. The fresco room has also been preserved from the Renaissance period.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, Count Joseph von Trauttmansdorff bought the dilapidated building and renovated it using neo-Gothic elements. Trauttmansdorff Castle is thus Tyrol’s earliest example of a neo-Gothic castle. The next owner, Baron Friedrich von Deuster raised the east wing of the castle one level by adding the grand Rococo Hall in 1899, significantly altering the shape of the castle. The castle, which had been neglected after the world wars, was renovated again between 2000 and 2003: the siding, chapel, crypt, Rococo Hall, and Empress Elisabeth’s second floor living quarters have all been restored to their former splendor.

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The History of Trauttmansdorff Castle:


The site is first mentioned as a farmstead called Neuberg


Nicholas von Trauttmansdorff buys Neuberg. Two generations later, his branch of the Trauttmansdorff line dies out. Neuberg falls to decay.

Trauttmansdorff Castle


The tower collapses and smashes the chapel. Today's staircase is located in what was formerly the tower.


Count Joseph von Trauttmansdorff from Styria discovers the castle his relatives have abandoned. He expands the dilapidated structure to its present size and adds neo-Gothic elements. From now on, it is called Trauttmansdorff Castle. Moritz von Leon, an imperial knight, inherits the estate in 1867.

1870/71 and 1889/90

Austrian Empress Elisabeth selects Trauttmansdorff Castle as her winter residence based on its sunny, sheltered position.

Trauttmansdorff Castle 1870


Baron von Deuster, a big landowner from Kitzingen near Würzburg, buys the Trauttmansdorff Castle estate together with all of its associated possessions. The baron expands the east wing with a large hall in the Rococo style. In honor of Empress Elisabeth, he erects a marble bench known today as Sissi’s Throne.


After World War I the estate of Friedrich von Deuster is expropriated – like that of many other German citizens in Italy. Trauttmansdorff Castle is now called Castel di Nova and transfers, together with its associated farms, into the possession of the Opera Nazionale per i Combattenti (ONC), a support fund for Italian soldiers.


During World War II, the castle serves as the German military camp. Almost all the furnishings are lost, and Trauttmansdorff begins to decay. The estate is leased to several families for agricultural use.

World War II


The ruined castle and all the lands that formerly belonged to Baron von Deuster become the property of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano – South Tyrol, in accordance with the Statute of Autonomy.


The Touriseum, South Tyrol’s Province Museum of Tourism, opens on 15 March in the castle’s rooms, which have been meticulously renovated with respect for their historical traditions.