Monreale Castle (Königsberg)
The first stronghold of the Counts of Eppan and the seat of the Königsberg dynasties
The Castello di Monreale (Monreale Castle or Königsberg Castle), formerly a stronghold of the Counts of Eppais, is a fabulous castle standing like a solitary sentinel amid the green woods of Faedo, overlooking the entrance to what were once territories under Tyrolean rule.
In the 14th century it became the seat of the dynasties nominated by the counts of Tyrol, thereby acquiring considerable importance in local politics and administration. Königsberg-Giovo is mentioned for the first time in a document of 1326.
The Königsberg dynasties held sway over an area that included the villages of Lavis, Pressano, Nave, San Michele and Faedo, Giovo, Lisignago, Cembra, Faver and Valda. The entire jurisdiction constituted a district for the administration of criminal and civil justice. Being the southernmost of the Tyrolean territories, the jurisdiction of Königsberg had particular strategic importance: it was the demarcation line between the German- and Italian-speaking communities, and all the people and goods in transit between the north and south had to pass through here.
In subsequent centuries the castle passed firstly into the hands of the Hapsburgs, then in the 17th century to the Rubin de Cervin Albrizzis, and in the 20th century it was acquired by Karl Schmid, an entrepreneur from Merano (Castello Rametz Winery).
Given the many extensive restorations the castle has undergone throughout the course of its history, it is difficult to ascertain its original structure. What remains of it today is a large hexagonal tower and a crenelated defensive wall. There is also a private chapel inside the building.
Bibliography: A. Casetti, Storia di Lavis. Giurisdizione di Königsberg-Montereale, Società di studi trentini di scienze storiche, Trento, 1981