Sigmundskron Castle, locally known as Castel or Burg Sigmundskron or Castello Firmiano, lies south of the city of Bolzano (Bozen in German) in the South-Tyrol province in Italy.
The first mention of a fortification at this site, then called Firmian or Formigar, was in 945. It was the main stronghold of the Bishops of Trento (Trient in German) in the county of Bolzano.
The castle has two baileys, separated by a large rock. On this rock are the ruins of a Romanesque chapel (with traces of frescoes from ca. 1100 until the 14th century) and the episcopal palace dating back to the 12th century.
In 1370 the lower bailey passed to the Habsburgs. Sigmund, Duke of Tyrol, bought the entire complex in 1474. He transformed the castle into a powerful stronghold by adapting new defensive architecture. He also renamed the castle Sigmundskron.
Later the castle was abandoned and had several owners, amongst them the Counts of Wolkenstein and the Counts of Toggenburg.
In 1957 the castle ruins were the stage of a gathering of some 35.000 people of South-Tyrol who demanded the separation of the region from Italy.
The castle is now home of the Messner Mountain Museum. This is a really great, modern museum, mainly about mountains and mountain climbing, that makes excellent use of the castle ruins with respect to the historical setting. Really a must see. Follow the item 'Ausstellung' on the above museum link for a great aerial picture of the castle.