One part of the world’s largest mountain museum concepts can be visited at Castel Firmiano.
Castel Firmiano is situated in the south of Bolzano, rising on a porphyry rock above Frangarto. Considered to be one of the most ancient and largest castle complexes of South Tyrol, it is constructed in the style of the High Middle Ages, only the donjon presents late-Gothic elements. Mentioned for the first time around 945 under the name “Formicaria” and later on „Firmiano“ in 945 AD, since 1027 it has been owned by the bishops of Trento, in 1473 it passed into the hands of Sigismund, the “rich in coin”, count of Tyrol. Only in this period, the castle was given its present name.
The castle by the way is also a political symbol for many citizens of South Tyrol. In 1957 there was a rally that went down in history as “Los von Trient“. This rally was guided by Silvius Magnago and aimed at protesting against the violation of the Treaty of Paris, demanding the autonomy of South Tyrol.
Since 1996 Castel Firmiano is owned by the Province of Bolzano. In June 2006, probably the most famous South Tyrolean citizen, Reinhold Messner, opened the Messner Mountain Museum in its interior. After a long and lavish period of renovations, a museum of the special kind and a place of encounters was established.
The concept of the museums, comprising the MMM Firmiano, the MMM Juval, MMM Dolomites, MMM Ortles and MMM Ripa, is so far the largest and also only mountain museum concept of the world.