Merano Things to Do

  • Reifenstein Castle
    Reifenstein Castle
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  • St. Joseph's Parish Church
    St. Joseph's Parish Church
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  • Merano Kurhaus
    Merano Kurhaus
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Most Recent Things to Do in Merano

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    ''TRAUTTMANSDORFF CASTLE GARDENS - 4

    by balhannah Updated Dec 7, 2011

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    Forbidden Garden
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    THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN

    I read the sign, and I wondered what I would find in a forbidden garden!

    And so we entered, this smallish area of the garden. Bizarre creature's stared at me, Death seemed to be evident! The were gruesome looking sculpture's, what was this all about!

    Poisonous Plants! Witches' herb's, Plant's that kill, yes, your right, we found them all in this part of the garden!

    It really was quite an interesting section, one that would make you think twice if you had inquisitive children and you were about to plant a garden. I found some plant's that I have at home, that are poisonous, I was already aware of that, but it was good to see them featured here. I am sure you will be surprised just how many poisonous, cultivated garden plant's there are.

    Here, in this garden, you will follow the footsteps of Belinda – the fairy tale maiden who has as much power as seven witches.

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    REIFENSTEIN CASTLE / TASSO CASTLE

    by balhannah Updated Dec 7, 2011

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    Reifenstein Castle

    Reifenstein Castle is located on Rock Hill near Sterzing, in the valley of the Eisack. As we came out of the Jaufenpass, we turned right, and the Castle was very close.

    Quite impressive looking is the 12th century Castle, and is meant to be the best preserved medieval Castle in South Tyrol! Rick Steve's gives it a good write up, so perhaps it is!

    If it is open when you visit, you can expect to see Gothic paintings, woodcarved chapel-door, a collection of armors, the original kitchen, bathroom and medieval sleeping bunks.
    It is the actual owner who will take you on the tour, and evidently it's pretty good although it may not be in English.

    Open from April to 31 October. The castle can be visited only by tour that takes about an hour.
    Guided tours (from 4 people) at 10.30 am, 2, and 3 pm
    Saturday closed
    ADMISSION......ADULTS.....6 euro....Children 6 to 13 years 4.00 euro

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    MERANO to SAN LEONARDO IN PASSIRIA

    by balhannah Updated Dec 7, 2011

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    Along SS44
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    It was time for us to pack up and leave Merano, and head up the SS44 [via passiria]to San Leonardo.

    This journey is through some of the most scenic scenery you could ever see!

    It is a wine producing area, so we were looking at acre's of vineyard's, extending from the roadside all the way up the mountain side's. Fruit and vegetable growing in some places, infact, acre's of fruit tree's too! We were driving along the Mountainside and looking down into the pretty valley with the River running through it, and pretty little village's along the way

    The problem was, there isn't anywhere to pull off for photo's, so have the camera ready, as you will need to take them from the car.
    We did find a good viewpoint, just before San Martino in Passiria. You come across it very quickly, so when nearing the town, try to look for it. The view is off the Mountain and into the valley, very nice.

    It is about 20kms from Merano.

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    JAUFENPASS

    by balhannah Updated Dec 6, 2011

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    Jaufenpass
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    If you want to continue on like we did from St. Leonardo in Passiria, then you will see more wonderful scenery along the Jaufenpass. It connects the Eisacktal valley in the east with the Passeiertal valley in the west.
    I think it was lucky for us we were travelling on a week day, as this is a known Motor-bike route, and we did meet a few, but not a lot!

    The pass stretches from St. Leonardo to Sterzing and has some beauties of switchback's. It is narrow and has plenty of curves, so if not a confident driver, perhaps forget about it!

    We headed up the wide curvy road on this side of the Summit, reaching a log cabin on the summit at 2099 metres above sea level. A little bit further on, we find a guesthouse with a big parking lot.
    From here on, the road is narrow with lots of curves and switchback's. We pass through forest, and then it opens up to wonderful views looking down to the Eisacktal valley.

    A scenic Mountain Pass for sure!
    The distance from one end to the other is only 24kms, but remember, it is not fast travel!

    THE PASS IS ONLY OPEN FROM MAY - NOVEMBER

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    PLAZA SHOPPING

    by balhannah Written Dec 6, 2011

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    Gift shop in Merano
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    Merano old Town has lots of Plaza's and plenty of shop's selling giftware's. I loved window browsing and found this one in my photo which I really liked. It was a different gift to take home, but I can't remember the name of the shop.
    I'm sure there is more than one that would sell unique gifts.

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    GARDEN'S OF TRAUTTMANSDORFF CASTLE

    by balhannah Updated Dec 6, 2011

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    View from the bridge to the Castle
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    MY main reason for coming to Merano, was to see the "Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle."

    We had breakfast and then went straight to the garden's. This is a good idea, as the car-park was empty, so we parked nice and close to the Gift shop and admission area. Parking was via a boom -gate. When we came back, the Car park was full, and there were many coach loads of people, I was so glad we were early, and had the garden to ourselve's for awhile.

    These gardens's are advertised as
    "Where over eighty garden worlds with plants from every corner of the globe are nestled into a dramatic twelve-hectare amphitheatre."

    The garden's are located mainly on a hillside, so if you wish to see all of them, you need to be prepared for hill's. They do have rest stops along the path's, and most are paved, and some have steps. I found there was often a easy and a harder route to where I wanted to go.

    Of course, Trauttmansdorff Castle is part of the garden, and entry is included.
    In 2011, the garden's celebrated 10year's, what an achievment!
    The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle are located just outside of Merano (Meran) in the formerly Austrian province of South Tyrol. It is not far to go, we could see them from our B&B.

    You need to allow probably at least a minimum of a couple of hour's, at least half a day if you intend to see quite a lot of the garden's.

    OPEN....7 DAYS A WEEK
    1st April –31th October: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
    (last entrance 6:00 pm)

    1st November –15th November: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    (last entrance 4:00 pm)

    Fridays in June, July and August: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm
    (last entrance 10:00 pm)

    ADMISSION IN 2011.......Adults 10.80 euros

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    TRAUTTMANSDORFF CASTLE + CHAPEL -6

    by balhannah Written Dec 6, 2011

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    Church door
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    We finished looking at the garden's, and I might add, there is still quite a bit more to what I have written about to see, and now it was time to see the inside of the Castle and the Chapel.

    Originally, Neuberg Castle stood here around 1300 AD. Only a few of the original walls are still visible, including a crypt and a room of frescoes.

    Trauttmansdorrf Castle was first mentioned in the 14th century. The castle was bought by Nikolaus von Trauttmansdorff in 1543 and was abandoned after two generations because the family had no male heir.
    It was in 1846, that Count Joseph von Trauttmansdorff came along, and expanded the dilapidated castle in the neo-Gothic style, then the next owner, Baron Friedrich von Deutser, converted the castle’s east wing into a huge neo-Rococo room.
    Neglected after the World Wars, it was renovated between 2000 and 2003. The façade, chapel, crypt, great Rococo hall, and the second floor – which had been Empress Elisabeth’s living quarters, wood paneling and paintings were restored as well.

    We could go inside the small Chapel, nice, but DO have a looking at the old carved door, it's great!

    The Castle is a Museum.
    It is rather unique the way it has been done. It starts of with lot's case's piled high, then a sculpture of people about to enter the Castle, and from there, the story carries through. We learnt about hard times of travel through the Alp's, about the Spa's and how tourism has taken off here.
    There were 20 rooms to look through.

    So, this concluded our tour of Trauttmansdorff Castle, one that I will never forget.
    I really think you need the good part of a day to see all that is here.

    The Castle is included in the admission price with the garden's.

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    VISIT LAGUNDO / ALGUND

    by balhannah Written Dec 6, 2011

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    Lagundo Mall
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    Lagundo is known as the "Garden village" but I think they should make it garden & flower village because it had lot's on nice flower's in the well kept garden's in the village centre.
    The village is set in amongst plenty of vineyards, and nearby are cable cars, and plenty of walking/bike trails.

    We found a paid car park, then walked around the village mall, which was clean and beautifully landscaped. As I like garden's, I thought this was a beaut area.
    There probably isn't much else to do here other than what I have mentioned.
    We did have lunch here, which was good and reasonably priced.
    I noticed there are plenty of Pension's, and outside the Tourist centre, we were shown the board with the "free phone" to ring for accommodation.
    You never know, it may be cheaper staying here, than at nearby Merano

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    ST. JOSEPH'S PARISH CHURCH

    by balhannah Written Dec 6, 2011

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    St. Joseph's Parish Church
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    I was told to visit St. Joseph's Parish Church, by the tourist information centre.

    Now, this is not one of the "old" Churches, but is a very modern one! It was interesting to see the inside, and see how a modern Church can be beautiful in its own way.
    The stained glass window's were huge, and I loved them, they were full of colour and "different!"
    The Church gave me the feel openess, and I really liked the contemporary architecture.
    The church was built between 1966 & 1971.

    OPEN....Daily open from 6.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.
    Guided tours: every Wednesday at 5 p.m. (April to October)

    Located near the Info centre at Lugundo, 5kms from Merano

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    EMPRESS SISSI -TRAUTTMANSDORFF CASTLE -5

    by balhannah Written Dec 6, 2011

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    Me & Sissi!
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    As we are walking around the garden's, I notice Empress Sissi of Austria appears in many places.

    At the Castle, there is a Statue and a Marble Throne, from where, if she sat, she would have a marvellous view over the garden's and to Adige Valley.
    She really would have sat here, as she was was twice at Trauttmansdorff Castle for her “winter cure”. This why I found Terrace's name after her, a bust in the garden, and a very nice sculpture of her on a garden seat. I joined her to have my photo taken!

    From the Garden's, you can walk the Sissi Weg – a path that leads into the center of Merano – have all been named in honour of her sojourns at the castle.

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    TRAUTTMANSDORFF CASTLE GARDENS - 1

    by balhannah Updated Dec 6, 2011

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    Crossing the bridge to the Castle
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    My Virtual friend, Will you join me on a walking tour of the Garden's?

    We have paid our entry fee, and now heading across the pedestrian bridge to the Castle. It has flower basket's on either side, and is very pretty. A good place to get some uninterrupted views of the Mountains.
    Once across the Bridge, we turn left and are following that pathway to the Japanese garden and the Fern Glen’s “living fossils.” This a pretty area, mainly green when we were there in June. A waterfall added a nice touch to this very welcoming area on quite a warm day.
    If you have time, there is 12 minute multimedia presentation – shown in German, Italian or English, featuring the earth’s formation and the origins of life.
    If you are here at a different time of the year, you will see Cherry blossom's, Rhododendron's, Ornamental Rice and Tea Terrace's.

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    TRAUTTMANSDORFF CASTLE GARDENS - 2

    by balhannah Updated Dec 6, 2011

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    Trauttmansdorff Castle from viewpoint
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    Now we are on the uphill climb, at least the path is zig-zagged to make it less steep. The steep bank's are covered in flower's, a pity we are a little early in the season to see it at its best, it would be amazing a little later in June.

    As we wind our way up to the first lookout, we get glimpse's of the view, then we reach the viewing point, the view is fantastic!
    We were able to look down and see where we had just walked, and for mile's and mile's across the valley to the Mountain's.
    Now, we are following a path across the hillside to another lookout that actually extend's over the edge of the hill. Hope you aren't frightened, it is quite safe, although some people were too scared to walk on it! Built in 2005, the viewing platform is binocular shape and transparency will give you the feeling of being suspended in mid-air.
    This viewpoint, gives different view's and a great one of the Castle and garden.

    It is a MUST DO to come to this viewpoint.

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    'TRAUTTMANSDORFF CASTLE GARDENS - 3

    by balhannah Written Dec 6, 2011

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    Trauttmansdorff Gardens
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    After a well earned rest, we are making our way down the hill to the Water garden area.
    We pass by Terrace after Terrace, under an Archway of flower's, and past waterfall's heading down to the Pond.
    On reaching the pond, we have a look at where we have just come from, and take in the beauty from this angle, then it was time to go for a walk around the Pond, and to stop and have a look at the big Koi.

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    CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

    by balhannah Written Dec 5, 2011

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    Church of the Holy Spirit
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    I came across this small, unassuming Church on my way to cross the River Passirio.
    Unfortunately, it was another one that wasn't open!

    In the Middle Ages, it was the Church for a Hospital that used to adjoin it, and offered accommodation to pilgrims, as well as the sick and old. The original Church has long gone, destroyed by flood's in 1419, and the new one is what I saw. I could only view the outside, and the only point of interest, was the fine carved Gothic entrance porch portraying the Trinity.

    If you do manage to see inside, expect to see carvings, painting's and frescoes.

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    KAISERHOF @ MERANO

    by balhannah Written Dec 5, 2011

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    Kaiserhof School

    Would you believe me if I said the beautiful Neo-classical building in my photo is a School?
    It's true!
    Very different to the plain, brick one I attended!

    In 1897, it was the Hotel Kaiserhof, a Hotel that some very important guest's came to, including "Sissi", Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.
    Once again, it was another beautiful building that was used by the military during WWII.
    After the War, the building was renamed to hotel "Excelsior."

    In 1974, it was purchased and renovated. The building consists of a central section and two wings that open to the garden and park. I read about architectural decorations and the façade design along the lines of Schoenbrunn, these were typical for that time. The main entrance, the stairway, the gable and the large park are still there, only now it is not a Hotel, but since 1975, is the country Kaiserhof Hotel School.

    Wow!!

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