Maretsch Castle, locally known as Castel or Burg Maretsch or Castello Mareccio, lies in the city of Bolzano (Bozen in German) in the South-Tyrol province in Italy.
The oldest part of Maretsch Castle; the keep, was built around 1194 by Berthold von Bozen. In 1237 the castle was mentioned as a house belonging to Dietmut von Maretsch. In the second half of the 13th century his son Heinrich and the knights Dietrich and Autlin von Maretsch made alterations to the castle.
In 1477 the castle was bought by Sigmund Römer zu Rubein. A fresco of Saint Floriano in the keep dates back to ca. 1500. In 1544 the castle was jointly owned by the Römer brothers; Hans Jakob, Lukas, Christoph and Kaspar. They called themselves Römer von Maretsch.
During the course of the 16th century the Römer family rebuilt the castle into the castle we see today; a rectangular complex with 4 round corner towers, the square keep in the north western wall and the open courtyard.
Around 1570 they also embellished the castle's interior with a mass of very beautiful frescos representing Biblical scenes, allegorical and fantastic figures and trophies. These are all still in good condition at present and can be seen during a guided tour.
In 1580 the castle passed to Maximilian Hendl who, around 1600, installed a chapel in the southern corner tower.
From 1658 the castle was in the hands of the Counts of Thun for almost two centuries. They sold it in 1851 to Countess Anna Sarnthein. Later it passed to the Counts of Toggenburg through inheritance.
Under Italy the castle accommodated the State Archives until it was acquired by the city of Bolzano in 1974. After a restoration it is now used for conferences and cultural activities.
A very nice castle beautifully situated in a vineyard and the frescos are really worth the guided tour.