Tirolo (Tirol in German) is a municipality in the province of Bolzano, located at just 4 km from the spa town of Merano, a charming natural landscape of woods, orchards and vineyards in the heart of the Texel Group Nature Park. The name has pre-Roman origins and derives from the Indo-European root "tir" (earth), the country's name was attested for the first time in 1158.
The dispute on whether the town gave its name to the castle and the entire region or, conversely, the opposite, historians tend to accept the theory, confirming the first option. In fact, the archaeological finds unearthed in the hills, on which stands Tyrol, it is clear that the area was affected by settlements even before the colonization by Rome.
Although the area had been granted to the Bishop of Trent by the Emperor Conrad II in 1027, during the XIII century, the Counts of Tyrol (noble family which took its name from the castle) managed to take over and rule the entire region, including the Austrian Tyrol, Alto Adige / South Tyrol and parts of Trentino.
Originally a small rural village, from the XIX century onwards, thanks to a positive economic and demographic increase, encouraged by a simultaneous development of the tourism industry and thanks to its proximity to Merano, it was transformed into an important resort.
Sites of Interest:
- the Tyrol Castle, residence of the Tyrol Family, situated on a hill at 300 meters above Merano with the entire Adige valley situated below. Today Museum of History of the province of Bolzano, the first fortified settlement dates back XI century, built on the ruins of a prehistoric settlement . It is accessible through a Romanesque style gateway and preserves within several medieval buildings until one reaches a large courtyard;
- Castel Fontana, now seat of the Agricultural Museum, presents itself in a style similar to an old English Manor, wanted by the owner in 1904 and rebuilt after several years of neglect. The first group of houses dates back to the XIII century. In 1955 it was bought by the archaeologist Boris de Rachewilz, a relative of the writer Ezra Pound, who, since 1958, used the castle as his residence;
- Castel d'Aura, an elegant palace built in the XIII century and now a private property;
- Castle Torre (Schloss Thurnstein), whose construction dates back to 1276;
- Castel San Zeno, built in the XIII century on the ruins of an earlier Roman fort, the "castrum Maiensis", which gave its name to the underlying city of Merano;
- the Church of St. Peter, enriched by pre-Gothic and Romanesque paintings.