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The Silk Route - World Travel: Castel Coira, Italy
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Italy: Sud Tyrol
Most recent: April 2018

Tubre Glorenza Castel Coira Burgusio Lago di Resia
Burgusio - S. Nicolò, italy

 

There are some very finely decorated buildings in the mountains and valleys of the Sud Tyrol, from tiny Romaneque churches to a grand Renaissance castle.

Tubre - S. Giovanni

Tubre, Italy
Church of San Biagio and the ruined castles Rotunda above and Reichenberg below. The late Gothic church tower of San Biagio has a clock above the windows on the south side, but below the windows on the other sides.

The main road in the tiny village of Tubre (Taufers) in Val Monastero, just inside the border of Italy, connects Val Mustair in the Graubunden region of Switzerland with Italian Val Venosta, an important route across the mountains in times gone by. The ruins of two castles stand above the village - Rotund higher than Reichenberg.

Tubre, Italy
Romanesque church of San Giovanni.
Tubre, Italy

There was a building dedicated to San Giovanni associated with Reichenberg in the early 13th century. In 1218, while on a crusade in Egypt, the crusader Schwiker von Reichenberg gave it to the Knights Hospitaller. It was the Order which enlarged the church and decorated it with the lovely Romanesque frescoes that we can still see today, both inside and outside on the north wall.

Tubre, Italy
St. Christopher on the north wall of S. Giovanni. A popular and appropriate saint along this important travellers' route.
Tubre, Italy
Tubre, Italy
Detail from the ceiling above the altar.
Tubre, Italy
South wall at the altar with the baptism of Christ in the lower register.







Tubre, Italy
The ceiling above the altar.

 

 

 

 

 

Glorenza

glorenza, italy
glorenza, italy

This small medieval walled town lies east of Tubre in Val Venosta and is a pleasant spot to wander.

glorenza, italy
glorenza, italy

 

Castel Coira

castel coira, italy
castel coira, italy

A useful guide in English is provided on the tour.

The castle was built in 1260 for Bishop Heinrich Count Montfort of Chur as a defence against the Matsch family, but to no avail - by 1297 a Bailiff of Matsch had peacefully acquired the castle.

The Matsch family had been in residence for over 200 years when the last male descendant died in 1504. His sister married Count Trapp and it has been in the Trapp family ever since.

castel coira, italy
castel coira, italy

Around the inner courtyard on the first floor are the most beautifully painted Renaissance arcades. Stretching along the ceiling are the Matsch and Trapp family trees. I believe the tree is laden with pomegranates, a symbol of fertility.

The walls are decorated with fables, jesters and illustrations of aphorisms of ancient Greek philosophers such as Socrates and Aristotle.

In one corner is a fabulous 16th century inlaid door.

castel coira, italy

 

castel coira, italy
castel coira, italy
castel coira, italy
castel coira, italy
castel coira, italy

castel coira, italy
castel coira, italy
castel coira, italy
The dungeon!
Prisoners were put into the dungeon from above, there were no steps.

 

The castle has a fine armoury with many full suits of armour as well as weapons and horse armour.

castel coira, italy
Another beautiful painted ceiling in a small chapel - it can be seen from the doorway onto the cobbled lane leading to the castle but the chapel is not open to visitors.
castel coira, italy

In general photographs of room interiors were not allowed but a couple in the group being shown around asked permission.

 

 

 

Burgusio - S. Nicolò

burgusio, italy

 

This exquisite Romanesque church stands in fields outside the village of Burgusio. A simple space with an off-centre apse for the altar, remains of 13th century frescoes on the walls and painted decoration on the wooden ceiling.

It is a very peaceful place, far more atmospheric than many a grand cathedral.

burgusio, italy
burgusio, italy

burgusio, italy
La sirena.
burgusio, italy
In the apse.
burgusio, italy
burgusio, italy
Cain, a farmer, offers grain to god but his offering is rejected.
burgusio, italy
Christ painted on the curved ceiling above the altar.






burgusio, italy
burgusio, italy
burgusio, italy

 

Lago di Resia

lago di resia, italy

 

In the middle of the twentieth century a dam was built for a hydroelectric plant creating a huge artificial lake just south of the border with Austria and east of the border with Switzerland. In the process several villages were flooded including the small hamlet of Curon on the east side, whose church bell tower rising above the water is all that remains.

lago di resia, italy
In 1991 the tower rises from a sea of mud.

 

lago di resia, italy