By Vollmond11 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A night at the castle. Our places: Maretsch Castle

By Emilia Campagna

August 19, 2016

You’re walking through the streets of Bolzano: you’re surrounded by shops, restaurants, by the noise of cars and of modern stuff. And suddenly, everything changes: silence, a severe medieval building and green vineyards all around. It’s the magic of Maretsch Castle (Castel Mareccio), a castle at the very heart of Bolzano.

The oldest part of Maretsch Castle was built in the first half of the 13th century. The residents were the family of Maretsch, who were supporting the sovereign of Tyrol by extending his power in the basin of Bolzano. This area was indeed contendet by the bishop of Trento an the sovereign of Tyrol. Starting with the year 1477 the family of Römer amplified the castle and commissioned valuable wallpaintings according to the ideas of the italian Renaissance.

Among the other interesting paintings and vestiges of the past history, a very particular drawing may intrigue the visitor more than other things: it is a “Sator Square”, a word square containing a five-word Latin palindrome (sator arepo tenet opera rotas), that may be read top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right, or right-to-left. The oldest datable representation of the Sator Square was found in the ruins of Pompeii, but others were found in many other places in Europe, both in churches and palaces.

The Sator Square of Maretsch Castle

Today the castle is not a residency any more, but it offers the ideal frame for any type of event: congresses, weddings, business dinners among others. And, very interesting for us, in the summer it hosts many of the concerts of Antiqua Festival.

Among the others, Eubo performed here on 17th August, conducted by Lars Ulrik Mortensen in a beautiful concert all devoted to Handel and his London colleagues.

Eubo performing at Maretsch Castle
Eubo performing at Maretsch Castle

And Theresia Youth Orchestra is going to perform there too: it will be fascinating to listen to the strong contrast of “Sturm und drang” music in the charming courtyard of the castle. Alfredo Bernardini will conduct the orchestra for the very first time and the program consists of two Symphonies by Haydn and Mozart and two Suites by Gluck and Kraus. Concert is scheduled on 24th August at 20.30: you can buy the tickets here.

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About Emilia Campagna

Journalist and musician, Emilia is a blogger for Theresia