The ruin of the legendary knight’s castle of Stetteneck can still be seen today in a forest near Ortisei.
Image gallery: Stetteneck Castle
Once the legendary Stetteneck Castle towered high above on Mt Balest but then, in Medieval times, it crashed down the deep gorge of the Rio Pincan. Since then it has never been seen again… This is the legend of Stetteneck Castle, the ruins of which have been discovered in summer 2000 on the much lower Pinkan hill (Col da Pincan) in the Val d’Anna. During trial excavations the remainders of a wall were found and since then the castle ruin of Stetteneck has been excavated. In the course of the excavations, large parts of the castle tower, the circular wall and the gate with a Roman circular arch have been exposed.
The castle dates back to the 13th century and belonged to the noble family of Stetteneck. Knight Gebhard of Stetteneck was the judge of Gudon and personal servant of the Bishop of Bressanone. First written documents mentioning the knight date back to the year 1256. The castle was thus built before 1256, boasted a length of 50 metres and was surrounded by a 60 metres long and 1.8 metres large circular wall.
During the excavations, numerous tools were found (beside the wall remains), such as an arrow head of a crossbow, a gaming piece, pieces of broken glass which belonged to glasses and oil lamps, flint tools, broken clay fragments and lots of animal bones. The excavation site is sometimes opened to the public in summer, guided tours are organised, led by the excavation director and discoverer of the ruin, Mr Herwig Prinoth.
guided tours in summer (on request)
Ortisei tourist board, phone: +39 0471 777600