This castle complex, dating from the late Middle Ages, once guarded the way to the Jaufen Pass. The oldest part, the free-standing keep, is the only part of the original castle that has been preserved. It was built in the middle of the 13th century by the Lords of Passeier as a residential tower. All later additions, including several buildings and a defensive wall, have since the 18th century fallen into ruin.
The five-storey tower has been beautifully renovated and has since 2003 been a branch of the MuseumPasseier. The individual floors host small exhibitions on the history of the castle; the Schildhöfe (“shield manor houses”) that are typical of the Passeier Valley; and two influential families, the Lords of Passeier and the Counts Fuchs, who provided the valley with lords of the manor, judges and church stewards, determining life there for centuries. On the fourth floor are impressive Renaissance paintings from 1538 by the well-known painter Bartlme Dill Riemenschneider. Finally, the top floor offers magnificent views over the entire valley as far as Meran as well as an audio station that tells some of the many legends surrounding the Jaufenburg.
Slightly below the Jaufenburg stands the little Church of the Holy Cross, a graceful late-Gothic building commissioned by the Lords of the Jaufenburg. The frescoes date back to around the year 1550.
Getting there: the Jaufenburg can be reached on foot in 30 minutes after a fairly steep climb up from the centre of St. Leonhard. There is also a narrow access road from the Jaufenstrasse.
The Jaufenburg will remain closed throughout 2020.