South of Bolzano on porphyry rock, the expansive Firmiano Castle spreads out, one of South Tyrol’s oldest castles.
Since 2006 this has been the site of the MMM – Messner Mountain Museum Firmiano. MMM Firmian is the heart of the museum series by mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner and engages with the topic of human and mountain. The exhibition impresses with art, installations and relics, the castle with stunning views of Bolzano, Sciliar and Gruppo del Tessa, as well as with its architecture. With great skill the architect breathed new life into the walls. Modern, corroding, black steal contrasts with the rocks.

The history of Firmiano Castle
Firmiano Castle is first mentioned in historic documents in 945 as “Formicaria”. In 1027 the German Emperor gifted the Dukedom of Trento and the County of Bolzano to the Bishop of Trento. The castle became the bishop’s property and was henceforth used as the seat for the officials responsible for the territory and also for important court cases. In the 12th and 13th century it therefore became necessary to extend the castle. The rulers of the region particularly benefited from controlling shipping on the rivers Isarco and Adige. Until the first bridge was built around 1200 the only route from Bolzano to Appiano could easily be blocked. In 1473 the castle changed hands and became the property of Sigmund der Münzreiche (the one rich in coins), Regent of Tyrol. The lover of beautiful castles immediately set about extending the building. It wasn’t long, however, until Sigmund faced financial difficulties. He had to mortgage his castle, which slowly fell into disrepair because it was no longer lived in at all times.
In 1957 Firmiano Castle was the location of an important event in South Tyrol: the demonstration against Italianisation (away from Trento), and against the violation of the “Treaty of Paris”.
Since 2006 Firmiano Castle has been housing the MMM Firmian.