The cultural, economic and geographical main center of Val Pusteria, Brunico (Bruneck in German) is a municipality in the province of Bolzano, located at the foot of Plan de Corones in the middle of a valley, at about 835m above sea level.
Several interesting archaeological finds attest, with absolute certainty, the presence of settlements in the area since the Stone, the Iron and Bronze Ages, such as the famous stone axe of Rasun. Subsequently it was populated by Celtic-Illyrian tribes, which subdued to the Roman Empire, who left important traces of their colonization. In a matter of facts, milestones, still visible today, marked the way for the Roman legions to Aquileia. In the VI century, after a series of fierce battles against the Slavic peoples, the valley submitted the domain of the Bavarians, evidenced by the presence of the Abbey of San Candido, had built by Duke Tassilo III in 769.
In 1091 the Emperor Henry VI granted the town to the Prince-Bishop of Bressanone. Mentioned for the first time in a document dated 256, at the time the center was fortified by its own castle. Thanks to its trading with Venice and Augusta, Brunico lived a particularly wealthy period and important residences were built.
Sites of Interest:
- the Bishop's Castle of Brunico, symbol of the city, situated on a hill overlooking the town's historic center, built in 1251 by Prince-Bishop of Bressanone. The main entrance of the castle is the South gate, which was once approached by a drawbridge. It features a circular tower with a staircase that gives access to upper rooms. In the right wing were located the Bishop's apartments, while on the left hand side were situated the administrative offices and the housing of the servants;
- the Church of the Orsoline, built in the XV century in Gothic style;
- the Church of St. Catherine located at the foot of the castle and flanked by an onion dome shaped Bell Tower;
- the Parish Church, which preserves within a crucifix by Michael Pacher and the organ by Mathis, probably the largest in all South Tyrol;
- the Church of the Holy Spirit, built in the XIV century, and currently features a Baroque style façade;
- the Convent of the Capuchins;
- Porta Floriani, in the past also known as "the lock", which features within a fresco of the South Tyrolean artist Rudolf Stolz;
- the War Cemetery;
- the Badia Castle (X century), which today is a hotel;
- the Lambert Castle, which was already documented in 1090;
- the Town Hall Museum.