South Tyrol: The fortified castle (also Werberg) – built in the 13th century as a fortified castle – is in Prissian in the South Tyrolean municipality of Tisens. The hilltop castle complex consists of two residential towers, the east tower (with a floor plan of approx. 9 × 9 m) and the north-west tower (approx. 11 × 11 m), both about 18 m high and covered with pyramid roofs, plus a chapel and the palas, which group around the inner courtyard.

The towers were built in the 13th century, and the two top tower floors were added in the 16th century. The original castle chapel on the first floor of the east tower contains a round-arched window niche painted in the Italian style of the early 15th century with a Man of Sorrows, a Virgin and Child, figures of saints and coats of arms.


The courtyard is bordered to the south by a three-story, elongated, somewhat kinked palace building, which may have originated from a farm building mentioned in 1420. In one of the rooms on the lower floor, a wall painting from the 15th century shows Andrian’s coat of arms.

In the west tower are frescoes from the beginning of the 15th century depicting the Man of Sorrows, framed by the four evangelists, several figures of saints and a coat of arms of Petronilla von Andrian nee Scheck von Goldrian. The original castle chapel may have been located here. Today’s castle chapel, consecrated in 1474, is a free-standing building under the patronage of Saint Erasmus. The Pietà standing on the altar of grey sandstone (around 1420), was previously in an arched niche built around 1900 above a neo-Romanesque window in the east tower.

The fortified castle, like the Mayenburg in Völlan, was built by the Counts of Eppan of the Ultner line as an administrative seat and to monitor the traffic connection from the Adige Valley via the Gampenpass to the Nonstal, which leads from Nalles via Prussian. The ministerial of the Counts of Eppan-Ulten included the lords of Nordheim and Sarnthein, some of whose families also remember their Holz, Zobel and Tisensnamed castles. They all shared a standard coat of arms.

1261/63, the brothers Ulrich, Otto von Tisens, and Werberg are mentioned. The fortified castle may have been built a little earlier. After the Counts of Eppan-Ulten died out in 1248, the people of Nordheim and their courts fell to the Bishopric of Trento and were confirmed as ministers in 1276. As a result, they became involved in military conflicts with Count Meinhard II of Gorizia-Tyrol, but they soon sided with him. Otto von Werberg is mentioned as early as 1287 as the count’s “Fidelis” (faithful one). Together with their cousins vom Holz, they were bailiffs of the parish of Tisens, and in 1364, together with the lords of Katzenzungen, they kept the vital bridge in Prussian.

The daughter of Heinrich von Werberch († 1323), Adelheid, married Eghard Murenteiner von Andrian in 1332 and brought him shares in the fortified castle, including six acres of fields and vineyards. 1351/55, the spouses Reinbrecht von Wehrberg and Katharina von Greifenstein are attested to own wine in Gries near Bozen.

At the end of the 14th century, Hans von Werberg, who owned half of the castle, managed the goods of the Lords of Niedertor, who came from Bozen and lived in Neuhaus Castle, including the customs revenue on the Kuntersweg. In 1387 he fought with Barbara von Hauenstein about the inheritance of the Fahlburg, which had belonged to its extinct relative von Zobel. In 1396 Hans von Werberg was also enfeoffed with the Burg im Holz after his cousins there had died out.


In 1412 he fought with the Andrians for their share of the fortified castle. In 1420 he died in debt. In 1411, Jakob Murendeiner had been invested by Andrian with the entire fief of the fortified castle and, from then on, called himself von Andrian-Werburg; In 1420, he became the sole owner of the court and associated goods. Around 1520, Hans Veit von Andrian-Werburg donated two stained glass windows decorated with coats of arms for the Maria Assumption Church in Tisens, on which he is shown with his two wives.


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