Valsugana is a valley where Brenta river flows and forms a natural channel connecting south eastern Trentino, the Venetian plane, and Adriatico sea.
This geographic emplacement conditioned the historical events occurred there.
The most ancient inhabitants were Euganean people; the appartenance of the land to the Venetian civilization is confirmed by its assignment to Feltre, at the time of the territorial division made under August Emperor. After the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, the quite dark period of invasions by the Goths and Longobards began. To the latter Montebello (historian of the eighteenth century) ascribes the construction of the first fortified core in Ivano, in 590.
A document dated 1187 for the first time mentions the lord of Ivano, then “ministerial”, that is empowered delegate of the bishop of Feltre, to whom “Bassa Valsugana” belonged by investiture of Conrad the Salian. This conjunction of secular and spiritual power caused to bishops serious problems; consequently, over the time families of “dynasty”, originally subjected to the bishop’s authority, strengthened and became more and more autonomous.
This is the key to carry on an analysis of the manifold dominations leaving traces in the Castle of Ivano. Events develop through an uncertain thirteen century, during a deep crisis of power between the bishops of Feltre and Treviso, the age of Romanos and Caminos, powerful lords in the region around Treviso; later two troubled centuries, the fourteenth and fifteenth, dominated by important families such as “dalla Scala”, “da Carrara”, “Visconti”, “Veneziani”.
Within the alternating domination on the Po river valley, the dukes of Austria, counts of Tyrol, were able to find their way. Finally, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, under the rule of Maximilian1st of Austria, every southern attempt at supremacy comes to an end; the political strenghthening of Ivano is ultimately connected to the northern Hapsburg, even with the families coming after the counts of Tyrol.
Under the rule of the Austrian family, the jurisdiction of the Castle is entrusted to captain Trapp who starts important restorations works. In 1525, Giorgio Pucler, the Captain of the Castle, is killed during the so-called “rural war”, a revolt exploded in Germany and reaching Valsugana.
In 1679, Counts Wolkenstein-Trotsburg are anfeoffed in Castel Ivano, in 1750 Maria Teresa of Austria allowed it to them permanently. Since that moment the fied becomes part of hereditary successions.
When the seat of jurisdiction is transferred in “Strigno” (1830), the historical importance of the Castle, for so many centuries present in the events occurring in Valsugana, remarkably changes, even as regards jurisdictional functions. Feudatory Count Leopold of Wolkenstein restores the Castle and emphasizes its use as manor-house.
During the First World War the Castle, sited near the border (Italy and Austria) becomes the headquarter of different armies and it has been severely damaged.
When last Count Wolkenstein (Antonio) died in 1913 his heirs left Castel Ivano, damaged and partially destroyed by war battles, to the administrator of the castle, Franz Staudacher from “Brunico” who has been leaving there with his family since 1901. All the family takes care of the architectonic construction, the garden and parks, the countryside working with the aim to redevelop Castel Ivano and return at its ancient magnificence. Franz Staudacher’s grandson and daughter, the present property owners, are keeping going on with consistent works for restoration and maintenance in order to preserve culture and memories of such a meaningful place in the history of Trentino and “Bassa Valsugana”.