Duino Castle (Italy)

Friuli-Venezia Giulia     See list of castles in Italia

The castle was built on the ruins of a Roman outpost and incorporates a sixteenth-century tower.

The remains of the old castle, which is tied to the legend of the White Lady
Its construction was begun in 1389 by Hugh Duino, captain of Trieste, replacing the old castle dating from the tenth century, the ruins of which are still visible on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea.

The coat of arms of the Thurn und Taxis
On the death of Hugh, the fortress was inherited by Ramberto of Walsee, brother of his first wife, who saw to the completion in the first decades of the fifteenth century. It then passed to the Habsburgs who passed it on to various German and Italian noble families, finally to Hofer von Hoenfels family whose last descendant, Matthaeus, died in 1587 leaving him to turn to the only two daughters, Clara and Maria Ludovika Orsa.

Both brides were, one after the death of the other, the Count Raymond of Torre Valsassina which also took the name Hofer, then adapted in German von Thurn-und Hofer Valsassina. The castle remained so continuously to von Thurn-und Hofer Valsassina for over 250 years.

In 1849 the Theresa von Thurn-und Hofer Valsassina Countess, last direct descendant of the Della Torre of Valsassina and heir of Duino Castle, married Prince Egon zu Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schilligsf├╝rst with whom she had six children.

The fourth daughter, Maria wed, in turn, in 1875 in Venice, with Prince Alexander von Thurn und Taxis, great-grandson of Della Torre and son of Hugo Maximilian of the Bohemian branch, bringing a dowry the castle.

The pair was born in 1881 Alexander, who took over in the manor property that endures to this day; created first Duke of Castel Duino by the king of Italy Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, he obtained the Italian nationality in 1923 assuming for himself and his descendants the surname of Della Torre e Tasso.

In this castle, the writer and poet Rainer Maria Rilke designed and started in 1912 the composition of the Duino Elegies while visiting the Princess Maria della Torre e Tasso (born Hohenlohe). Rilke later dedicated his work to the noblewoman, who was one of his biggest supporters.

In 1945, a postage stamp was issued by the Yugoslav authorities of the two lire value Trieste used throughout Istria and the Slovene coast. He remained in circulation until the final annexation of the occupied territories by the Yugoslav army. [4]

In memory of his stay in the castle it was named after the poet Rilke also a scenic walk - the Rilke path - along approximately 2 km. Inaugurated after the restoration work in 1987, high salt on the clifftop between Duino and Sistiana Bay, with spectacular views of the Nature Reserve Cliffs.

The castle is linked also to the legend of the White Lady, the wife of one of the lords of the manor, these cast into the sea and then transformed into the rock visible today in the bay, in front of the coast.

In 2008 and 2009, the Duino Castle has been the seat of the Prize "City of Trieste", Halberd gold.

Images of the castle

Useful infos

Latitude: 45.772055
Longitude: 13.603984
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Map of Duino Castle