There are places where history is more than just stories, it’s tangible, it surrounds you so completely that for a moment the modern world slips away. It’s both in this world and
Up for auction on September 22 through Concierge Auctions, Castel Valer, is such a place. Situated in Tassulllo, Italy at the foothills of the Dolomite mountains on land that has been desirable since the days of the ancient Romans, the castle has been in the possession of an aristocratic family for 650 years.
The residence has more than 80 rooms with 15 bedrooms, a library, and a knights’ hall. Many myths and legends surround Castel Valer, which was built between the 12th and 17th centuries on the site of Roman ruins. Once lived in by an Austrian Emperor, it also served Pope Pius IX as a shelter during revolution in Rome. The castle bears elements of of the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque eras and itself embodies centuries of history in its walls as parts of the original architecture and parts of the initial interior are beautifully preserved.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIhyKV_WXEc]
Built in the 12th century, a 40-meter high octagonal granite tower is the center of castle. The only access to the tower is an old wooden bridge, which the inhabitants – after having withdrawn into the tower – could destroy in case of occupation. During WWI, it served as a military base for both Italian and German troops. Its position as a command center kept it from being destroyed.
One of the most striking features of the property is that it features two chapels with beautiful frescoes dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. One chapel consecrated to Saint Sebastian is located within the castle. The second, chapel San Valerio, of 1472 was consecrated by the Bishop of Trent. The frescos of the famous painters Giovanni and Christoforo Baschenis are excellently preserved. Chapel San Valerio was fully restored in 1996 and won the prestigious prize of the “best restored chapel in private ownership in Europe” by Europa Nostra, a pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage.
The Madrutz Rooms, named after Cardinal Madrutz who had lived in these rooms during the Council of Trent (1545-1563), show unique friezes of Marcello Fogolino dating back to the 16th century. These friezes exist only because when Fogolino was found guilty of murdering his barber, Count Ulrich Spaur allowed Fogolino to serve out his sentence through his artistic work within the castle.
Every detail of the home speaks to the craftsmanship of the past. Original glass chandeliers, Venetian mirrors, oil paintings, etc. add to the distinctive artistic charm of the castle. Particularly remarkable is a spinet (the predecessors of today’s piano), which W.A. Mozart played on. The cleric Count Ignaz Spaur was Mozart’s patron and supported his career. Mozart showed his gratitude to the cleric and composed the Spaur Mass (KV 258) for him.
The castle’s aristocrat owner, Count Ulrich Spaur zu Flavon und Valer, continuously renovated and modernized the castle, providing up-to-date amenities, paying very close attention to preserving the heritage value of this beautiful treasure. In addition to the 16 original tiled stoves, which are works of art on their own, all rooms are heated with modern pellet and oil heating.
The property has five kitchens including a Medieval smoke kitchen, three fully restored fireplaces, a wine cellar, pool, and a new electric generator. The expansive grounds have terraced gardens, apple orchards, and forestland. The property is helicopter accessible and is ocated a little over one hour from Verona and its airport.
For more information or to register to bid, please visit Concierge Auctions.
Deidre Woollard served as the lead editor on Luxist.com for six years writing about real estate, auctions, jewelry and luxury goods. Her love for luxury real estate led her to work at realtor.com and two of the top real estate brokerages in Los Angeles as well as doing publicity for properties around the world.