A ruin as a national sanctuary. Castle Tyrol became a national monument in the 19th century. The themes of the castle as “Heiligtum des Landes”, the mythical “sanctuary of the land”, the story of its restoration, the castle as a motif in art and literature and the Visitors Books are all dealt with in the Refectory. Travel books of the time and Tyrolean landscape paintings bear witness to the growth of tourism and the increasing interest in the castle.

The view from Castle Tyrol over the Adige Valley became a favourite theme for landscape painting. When Tyrol fell to the Austrian Empire in 1816, the citizens of Merano donated the castle to Emperor Franz I. This led to the status of the castle being raised to “Kaiserburg” – “Imperial Castle”. To this day you will find portraits of three of the Habsburg emperors in the Refectory. Emperors Franz I and Ferdinand I personally visited the castle in 1832 and 1838 respectively.