Andraz Castle stands just below the Falzarego Pass, in Livinallongo del Col di Lana, in a strategic position to control the communication routes that, already in the Middle Ages, connected the territories of Belluno, and then those of the Serenissima, with the areas north of Caprile, belonging to the Bishop of Bressanone. In communication with other fortresses, Andraz Castle was part of an organised system of surveillance of traffic between Agordino and Val Pusteria. Today it is home to the Andraz Museum.
The history of Andraz Castle
The Andraz Castle was built, using local stone, on a gigantic rocky spur that in the Ice Age had detached from the Dolomite group of Settsass: these very special characteristics give the fortress an extraordinary integration with the surrounding natural environment and increase its charm.
From the 11th to the 15th century, the castle in Livinallongo del Col di Lana remained under the control of vassals under the Bishop-Counts. After 1416 it was taken over directly by the Bishopric, which made it an important military bulwark throughout the Middle Ages. From 1454 to 1460, Cardinal Cusano, better known as Nicolò Cusano, philosopher of the "convergence of opposites", found refuge here.
As it was only a short distance from an area rich in natural resources, especially timber and minerals, the castle began to lose importance with the cessation of mining in 1753 and the secularisation of the ecclesiastical principalities.
In 1802 it passed to Bavaria and in 1808 Andraz Castle was sold to a private individual who used it to procure building materials. Its deterioration continued with the removal of all furnishings and the dismantling of the roof for firewood.
During the Great War it was bombed by the Austrians, as it had become an encampment for Italian troops. After the war it became a stone quarry for the reconstruction of the nearby village of Castello.
Since 1985 the Andraz Castle has been the property of the Veneto Region, which has started a restoration project to enhance what is left of the original structure.
The Andraz Castle Museum
The Andraz Castle Museum was inaugurated in June 2012. Conceived to spread knowledge of the manor and the surrounding Dolomite territory, the museum illustrates and describes the historical events of Andraz and its transformations over time due to fires and bombings. One section is entirely dedicated to Cardinal Nicolò Cusano who lived there, as described above, from 1454 to 1460. There are also written and visual testimonies of ironworking and some archaeological finds discovered inside the fortress.
Andraz Castle Fares
Full price: € 6.00
Reduced price: € 4.00 (for groups of at least 15 paying visitors, children between 7 and 19 years of age and university students)
Reduced price over65: € 4.00
Reduced price for school groups: € 3.00
Free admission: disabled people and their carers, children up to 6 years of age
Audioguide: € 2.00
Opening hours of Andraz Castle
June to October.
For further information:
loc. Castle | 32020 Livinallongo del Col di Lana (BL)
Tel. (+39) 334 66 80