Reinhold Messner is certainly one of South Tyrol’s most famous personalities. He has earned his fame as a rock climber, expedition mountaineer, polar and desert traverser and has repeatedly broken taboos. For four decades he has been collecting experiences at the far ends of the earth, which today allow him to create a chain of museums on the subject of mountains. Messner himself calls this project his ’15th eight-thousandth mountain’.
The Messner Mountain Museum, initiated by Reinhold Messner, comprises a museum structure in six parts, where each house, like a satellite, is dedicated to a sub-theme. We will introduce you to all the museums here one by one. You can find information about the MMM Ortles and the MMM Ripa by clicking on them. Today we take you to the MMM Juval, Reinhold Messner’s private castle.
Mythos Mountain: permanent exhibition at MMM Juval
The religious dimension of the mountains
Reinhold Messner’s private castle in the Vinschgau Valley is home to the MMM Juval, which is dedicated to the myth of the mountain. You can marvel at Messner’s extensive adventure library and Tibetika collection, a picture gallery on the sacred mountains of the world, the mask collection from five continents, the expedition cellar, the unique exhibition on Gesar Ling, the Tantra room and some Renaissance frescoes. There is also a small mountain animal park, farm products at the Schlosswirt inn, excellent wines at the Unterortl winery and a farm shop at the foot of the castle hill. Everyone leaves Juval Castle with strong impressions.
The history of Juval Castle
Although the site has always had a strong attraction, as prehistoric finds prove, the first documented mention of the fort dates back to 1278. Hugo von Montalban was the lord of the castle at that time. In 1368, the border fortress belonged to the Lords of Starkenberg and in 1540 – after many changes of ownership – the Sinkmoser family acquired it. This is when the castle reaches its heyday, for Hans von Sinkmoser gives it its present character by having the fortified castle converted into a stately Renaissance residence. However, the next generation was unable to hold on to the castle and it fell into the hands of the Hendl family, who owned it for two centuries. The Blaas farming family bought the ruin in 1813 and lived in it until part of the main building collapsed. Finally, in 1913, the Dutch colonial owner William Rowland acquires it and saves it from its final decay. He restored it in an exemplary manner, but with the Second World War the complex was once again left to its own devices.
In 1983 Reinhold Messner came across the castle and in the following years not only renovated the complex with great sensitivity and taking into account the earlier construction phases, but also filled it with new content: medieval walls were combined with modern architecture and foreign elements, collections were staged and integrated. The castle is therefore both a residence and a museum.
Finally, in the mid-1990s, the last building intervention took place for the time being: In order to halt the further deterioration of the ruinously dilapidated northern wing, a glass gable roof designed by the German architect Robert Danz was installed. In this way, the historic walls remain intact, are protected and the view of the building’s history is nevertheless left open through the transparent glass and steel construction.
MMM Juval opening hours & contact
MMM Ripa is open from the fourth Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November from 10am to 5pm. Wednesdays are closed.
I-39020 Kastelbell (BZ)
Tel. +39 348 4433871 (only opening hours) or +39 0471 631264
Fax +39 0471 633884
We hope you enjoy exploring the myth of the mountains!