Castelrotto (Kastelruth in German, Ciastel in ladin language) is located inside the Natural Park of the Sciliar, at the foot of the Alpe di Siusi, whose proximity has allowed the development of a flourishing tourism, both in summer as in winter. The toponym is certified for the first time in 982-987 as Castelruptum and in 1173 as Castilrut, with the meaning of "castle ruined".
The name of Castelruptum appears for the first time in a document of 982-987 in which the Bishop Albuin of Bressanone exchanged the income of the local Church with the Bishop Eticho Augusta. Before this date we know that was already present on the spot a settlement, of which however there came the name. The traces of the Castelvecchio can be traced back to the medieval era, there remains today only a massive square tower in addition to some traces of the walls, huts of bricks and therefore the presence of a fortified village. In the XIII century the area passes of property to Count Meinhard II of Tirolo-Gorizia and then to the lords of Castelrotto. In 1348 the castle is owned by the Duke Konrad Teck which is also captain of the department of the Adige. At the beginning of the XV century the castle and the village pass the property to the family Hauenstein and it was at this time that date back to the first farms stable large implanted in the area.
Shortly after the property changes of ownership to Michael Kraus, Hungarian nobleman came here for marriage and already enfeoffed of some land at Lake Balaton. These became famous in particular for the wealth accumulated by his feuds and charitable works that extended to the poor of Castelrotto before his death, establishing that this custom was continued over the centuries in the month of October with the distribution of a loaf of bread and a bag of salt for every poor of the Community. He was subsequently buried in the chapel of the tower where still today his tomb is located. His nephew, Jakob Kraus, was ennobled by the Emperor Rudolph II of Hapsburg on 2 June 1607 and it was he who proceeded in large part to the demolition of the old castle, by the creation of a chapel to use for the village dedicated to Sant'Antonio, in addition to the realization on the part of the son Georg Kraus of a natural park (1675) accompanied by seven small chapels and three large crucifixes (Christ and the two thieves) that reflect some of the stages in the via crucis. In 1847 the family became extinct.
The main economic activity of the inhabitants was the rearing of livestock, thanks to the presence of vast alpine pastures surrounding, overcoming in the year 1600 of four times the sale of livestock held in Bolzano.
In Castelrotto each winter is represented a traditional rural marriage (Bauernhochzeit). This event revives the ancient uses of a marriage beween farmers. In fact from the early years of the Twentieth Century, until the fifties, weddings took place in winter, when the farmers were not engaged in their agricultural work. Today this traditional event became part of the tourist circuit, in which all the local population then wears clothes of the epoch, in particular the Bride will wear a hat that recall the color of the grass and the bridegroom will bring a carnation of greater dimensions with respect to those carried by other men invited to the celebrations for the Union.
Women instead are divided into those that carry a headgear often in wool, Turmkappe and those unmarried that carry a hat shiny and adorned with gold leaf. There is also the one who is assigned to the ceremony, which carries a big hat adorned with ostrich feathers in black and white. Usually the event foresees that different pairs to participate to a wedding procession, formed by sledges drawn on horseback, which also involved the relatives and friends of the pairs, all "decorated" for the event with the Trachter. The procession that leaves from the small church of San Valentino, follows the religious ceremony, and then a traditional banquet, followed by typical Tyrol dance.
Together with the celebration of the marriage peasant, always in Castelrotto are held almost in the same period the "wedding banquets of Castelrotto". In this occasion the main restaurants delight tourists with typical dishes that were once eaten during a marriage farmer.
Village of Castelrotto
Municipality of Castelrotto/Kastelruth
Province of Bolzano/Bozen
Trentino-Alto Adige Region
Altitude centre: 1060 m s.l.m.
Unesco Site: the Dolomites
the Municipality is part of:
Unesco World Heritage
Comunità montana Salto-Sciliar
Protected Natural Areas:
Sciliar-Catinaccio Natural Park
Piazza Kraus 1 - Tel. +39 0471 711500
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