Monday 29 October 2012

Medieval Dress on the Walls of Schloss Runkelstein

While in the Dolomites we visited the fabulous Schloss Runkelstein. You can take the regular free bus from the centre of Bolzano, in the Alto Adige, up to the local castle of Runkelstein. There you can marvel at the early 14th and 15th century frescos commissioned by the brothers, Franz and Niklaus Vintler, to adorn all the walls. Above you can see a courtly game of catch-ball, played by (amongst others) two crowned ladies in the most refined and superbly trimmed gowns.

In the fresco above, well-costumed lords and ladies appear to peer down at you from galleries above trompe l'oeil wall-hangings and marble walls.

In one of the galleries is this noble lady in her parti-coloured, sable-trimmed gown. But is it you she is looking for, or perhaps she is waiting for her courtly-lover?

Talking of courtly love, the summer house is decorated with frescos recounting the famous love story of Tristan and Iseult - and also of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. There is a restaurant in the castle where you can take lunch, enjoy a light bite or simply quench your thirst with the local beer. The frescos are well documented and photographed and you can buy a comprehensive guide to them at the Schloss.

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