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St. Stephen castle chapel

St. Stephen castle chapel

The Sistine Chapel of South Tyrol

The castle chapel of St. Stephen’s is located on a rocky crest at the entrance to Martelltal valley, close to the castles of Untermontani and Obermontani. A genuine written version of the “Nibelungenlied” from the year 1323 was once found at this site – and is now held at the Berlin State Library.

St. Stephen’s chapel can be reached via a short hiking trail. It is worth registering your visit in advance, as the unexceptional facade of this Romanesque castle chapel gives no hint of the magnificent Gothic frescoes that adorn the entire interior.
St. Stephen castle chapel
St. Stephen castle chapel
These frescoes were created by masters from the Lombard School around 1430: the life of St. Stephen covers the North wall, the adoration of the Magi, apostles and evangelists lights up the presbytery, and the triumphal arch features the martyrdom of St. Ursula and the crucifixion with the saints. In contrast, the colourful passion cycle and the depiction of the Last Judgement on the South and West walls were created by a Swabian workshop around the year 1487.

An unusual feature of the chapel consists of the graffiti left by pious visitors in the 15th and 16th centuries.
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