South of Bolzano, eased down on a porphyry rock, the vast fortress of the Firmiano castle extends itself. It is one of the most antique and enormous castles of South-Tyrol. Mentioned for the first time in 945, this late Medieval castle has an eventful story. Emperor Corrado II gave the fortress to the Bishop of Trento. In the 12th century it was passed on to the ministerial employees that from that moment onwards took on the name of “Firmiani”. In 1446 Sigismund of Austria, also known as “the wealthy”, took on the regency of the Tyrol region and Anterior Austria. In 1473 he bought the fortress and transformed it into a majestic, vast and secure location. Only a small amount of details from the old Castle were maintained. The prince named the castle “Firmiano”, the original German name “Sigmundskron” means “Crown of Sigismund”. Fate played an ugly trick on poor Sigismund who had to deal with financial difficulties and therefore had to mortgage the castle. During the following centuries the castle often changed owner and started slowly but surely falling into ruins. Finally, in 1996 it became heritage of the autonomous province of Bolzano and seven years later Reinhold Messner gained rights to open the Museo della Montagna (Mountain Museum) that had long been planned. The Messner Mountain Museum of Firmiano was inaugurated in 2006. The Firmiano fortress is also an important political symbol for South-Tyrol: it was the location of the protest “Los von Trient!” (“Away from Trento!”) led by Silvius Magnago. The protest was held due to the non-fulfilment of the Paris treaty and it started the people’s requests for an autonomous Province.