A real leap into the past, in a fairytale atmosphere among castles, vineyards and forests.
(by Uwelino, CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia Commons)
This castle was built around 1230 (it was probably finished in 1235), presumably by members of a collateral branch of the family of the Counts of Appian. Between 1239 and 1245, a certain Henry of Boymont, a vassal of the Counts of Appian, appears several times in the sources. It was in fact, probably granted to the lords of Boymont, ministers of these counts, from whom it also took its name.
The Lords of Boymont played an important role later, in particular in the 14th century, especially with the Käfer von Boimont branch. Still, the castle eventually came into the hands of Ulrich Kässler, who had married the wealthy heiress Barbara of Boymont in 1413 and was also secretary to Frederick of Boymont (1382-1439). In 1742, Boymont Castle was destroyed by a fire, possibly started because of inheritance disputes, and from then on, it was never inhabited again and fell into disrepair. Later it changed hands between some of South Tyrol’s leading noble families.
Boymont Castle is a Romanesque work and was probably built in a single phase with a virtually quadrangular ground plan.
Romanesque architecture is the style of creating Romanesque art, which spread throughout Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries until the establishment of Gothic art, i.e. around the middle of the 12th century in France and with greater persistence in other European countries. The adjective ‘Romanesque’ is an Italian adaptation of ‘roman’, a word created at the beginning of the 19th century in France to indicate Romance or Neo-Latin languages and works of literature. Charles de Gerville also introduced ‘roman’ into the architectural language, and the term became popular: in a short time, all figurative culture that had developed in France after the Romans up to the blossoming of Gothic architecture was defined as Romanesque. Later, the term ‘Romanesque’ was only referred to the production between the 10th and 13th centuries.
Even the clear and well-designed construction features appear unusual for an early medieval building of this type. Boymont is indeed placed in a defensive position, but it served mainly as a residence and only marginally for the military control of the area, like the neighbouring Castel d’Appiano. The state of the still imposing ruins is interesting for the study of castles, as it is, in this case, a large Romanesque residential castle, which has survived in fair condition and without significant additions and manipulations. The multi-storeyed palace is located in the southeastern corner and has unmistakable and splendid three-mullioned windows open in the perimeter wall. The donjon is situated in the northeast and shows a remarkable, large, arched opening to the east. Another smaller tower is located to the northwest. The manor chapel was located above the entrance, on the first floor. The apse, which has been preserved, faces east as usual. The position of the chapel is comparable to those found at Bruck Castle near Lienz in Austria (East Tyrol).
It was only in 1977 that the new owner began a consolidation and restoration of what could still be saved. The parts added are distinguishable, according to the correct restoration criteria. The castle is located along walkable paths and can be visited today; there is a refreshment area inside. In the rock below the castle is a bunker, which is difficult to access, belonging to the Alpine Wall in South Tyrol, namely the Bolzano South Barrage. This represents an important testimony of history, which makes us reflect on the succession of events, eras, hostilities and power.