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Ing. Richard Hilber - CC BY-SA 2.0

Schloss Prösels (Castel)

Prösels Castle is one of the most beautiful Renaissance complexes in South Tyrol. It is located on the way to Kastelruth just before Völs am Schlern on the right side of the road in a charming, park-like landscape.

Prösels Castle near Völls (built around 1200)
Prösels Castle near Völls (built around 1200)

The original castle was probably built around 1200 by the Lords of Völs. In 1279, the "castrum presile" is mentioned for the first time in a document. Around 1500, Leonhard von Völs had the old castle splendidly rebuilt and expanded in the Renaissance style. From 1498 until his death in 1530, Leonhard von Völs was also the governor of the Etsch and the burgrave of Tyrol, making him one of the most influential and powerful men in Tyrol. In the spirit of the time, he constructed a relationship between his ancestors and the Roman noble family of Colonna, and expanded his family coat of arms by adding two pillars to the cross and rose. In this form, it is also the current municipal coat of arms of Völs.

Leonhard developed a lively, almost passionate building activity. The parish church of Völs (begun in 1515, completed only in 1570) and several branch churches were built or rebuilt, and he also had the Völser Weiher, now a popular bathing pond, and three other ponds dug for fish farming. However, his main work was Castle Prösels, whose reconstruction was largely completed in 1517.

After that, only a few structural changes were made to the castle, and it remained in the possession of the Colonna-Völs family until 1804. Then Felix Freiherr von Völs died childless, and in the next 170 years, the castle changed owners fourteen times, leading to partial decay. In 1981, the "Kuratorium Schloss Prösels" took over the entire complex, which was subsequently completely restored. Since then, the castle has been open to the public, and a rich cultural events program ensures new life.

Several collections are on display at Castle Prösels, such as the Marksman Museum, the Batzenhäusel picture collection, and – particularly noteworthy – the extensive weapon collection, with many pieces from the 19th century from the battles of Solferino and Custozza, as well as some from the time of Leonhard von Völs. Numerous concerts and theater performances are also part of the cultural program. Part of the legendary "Oswald Von Wolkenstein Ride" takes place at Castle Prösels every year. In addition, the castle can be rented for weddings, company parties, or birthdays.

Address: Prösels 21, 39050 Völs am Schlern, Tel. 0471/601062
Opening hours: daily (except Saturdays) May, October: at 11, 14, 15 June, Sept.: at 11, 14, 15, 16 July, Aug.: at 10, 11, 15, 16 from 31.10. by appointment only

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