&noscript=1 /> Messner Mountain Museum Firmian - South Tyrol Messner Mountain Museum Firmian - South Tyrol
Messner Mountain Museum Firmian
Messner Mountain Museum Firmian

Day trip destination

MMM Firmian

Messner Mountain Museum Firmian

Man and mountain, mountain and man - this recent relationship is the theme of the main seat of the Messner Mountain Museums near Bozen.

MMM Firmian is located at Sigmundskron Castle, one of the oldest castle sites in South Tyrol. It was first mentioned in records in the 10th century by the name of ‘Formicaria’, which is Latin for ‘anthill’. This description arose because of the shape of the castle. MMM Firmian not only displays mountaineering history, but also a part of the history of South Tyrol's autonomy. In 1957, over 30,000 South Tyroleans came here to protest against violations of the Paris Treaty and for South Tyrol to be granted more independence.

The fascination of the mountains

Mountaineering as we know it has only existed for around 250 years. Before this, mountains were viewed as hostile territory, and were avoided whenever possible. This has since changed, and points of contact with mountains range from conserving nature, conquering mountain peaks and the cult of mountain climbing and mass tourism, to research into the Alpine area. For a long time, the classic sport of mountain climbing was believed to bring religious enhancement, in that God may be said to be found at the summit cross.

Messner Mountain Museum Firmian

(His)story-steeped walls

Firmian castle site perches around 80 metres above the confluence of the Etsch and Eisack rivers. Like an anthill, the castle grounds are marked by large differences in level and feature rocks, lots of green spaces, towers and steps. But where do today’s names of ‘Firmian‘ and ’Sigmundskron‘ come from? After Formigar castle was presented to Udalrich II, the Bishop of Trent, by Emperor Conrad II in 1027, it was looked after in the 12th century by high-ranking civil servants who called themselves ‘von Firmian’, and the name was transferred to the castle site. Three hundred years later, Duke Sigmund the Wealthy, Prince Bishop of Tyrol, bought it, had it extended and gave it the name of Sigmundskron Castle. It is interesting to note that only ruins remain of the original fortress, which are located at the highest point of the castle grounds. Its owners changed a few times over the subsequent years, and it has belonged to the Province of Bozen since 1996. Sigmundskron Castle has seen several conversions so far, including a refurbishment that allowed the ruin to be visited. The architect Werner Tscholl took measures to ensure that its historical features were preserved as best as possible, and hardly any changes are visible from the outside.

All roads lead to Firmian

MMM Firmian is host to regular exhibitions and events, where Reinhold Messner is sometimes even present in person.
Take note: you have to be confident on your feet to visit this museum! The inner courtyard of the castle needs sturdy shoes. MMM Firmian may be accessed by means of a path from Dorf Sigmundskron, which can be reached by several train and bus connections. The castle may also be reached by bicycle.

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MMM Firmian

Further information

Tourist-Info Laives/Leifers
Via J.-F. Kennedy 88
39055 Laives/Leifers
Operation Schedules
description to arrive at destination

Coming from the south:
Take the highway exit "Egna/Ora/Termeno-Neumarkt/Auer/Tramin" and follow the signs "Bolzano/Laives-Bozen/Leifers" for approx. 13 km. Then follow the signs for "Bronzolo/Branzoll" and "Vadena/Pfatten". 

Coming from the north:
Take the highway exit "Bolzano Sud/Bozen Süd" and then follow the signs for "Trento/Laives-Trient/Leifers" for approx. 12 km. After the tunnel connecting Bolzano and Laives and after the bypass tunnel of Laives follow the "Bronzolo/Branzoll" signs. At the roundabout at the beginning of the village Bronzolo/Branzoll follow the signs for "Vadena/Pfatten". 

Route description

The start is in the centre of Vadena/Pfatten, where the hiking trail no. 5A begins. This steep path leads through the forest to the Lakes of Monticolo, where you have to follow first the markings of the path 5A, then path 1 and finally path 1B. If you wish you can make a quick detour to the viewpoint "Wilder-Mann-Bühl" at an altitude of 645 metres.

Continuing on the marked trail you will come to Schreckbichl, a small hamlet of Cornaiano/Girlan-Appiano/Eppan. The route continues downhill towards Sigmundskron Castle, home to the Messner Mountain Museum Firmian, which is well worth a visit. Refreshment points are available too. To return you can take the same way or you can get to the small village of Firmiano/Sigmundskron, where you can take the bus back to Laives/Leifers.

Return from Firmiano/Sigmundskron by bus line 132 to the train station of Bolzano/Bozen. From here take bus 110, 111 or 112 back to Laives/Leifers.

Public transport

Arriving from the north: by train to Laives/Leifers station and from here by Citybus 117 till the busstop "Vadena Centro/Pfatten Dorf".

Arriving from the south: take the train to Bronzolo/Branzoll station and from here take the Citybus 117 till the busstop "Vadena Centro/Pfatten Dorf".

Return from Firmiano/Sigmundskron to Laives/Leifers: from Firmiano/Sigmundskron with bus line 132 to the train station of Bolzano/Bozen. From here take bus 110, 111 or 112 back to Laives/Leifers.


Parking possibilities in Vadena/Pfatten near the school or the soccer field.

General description

Nice hike from Vadena/Pfatten, through the woods, to the Lakes of Monticolo and further to Firmiano/Sigmundskron.
Change of path along the hike: 5A, 1, 1B