municipality in South Tyrol, Italy

Bruneck (Italian: Brunico) is a city in Puster Valley in South Tyrol, Italy. The town is economically and culturally the centre of the Puster valley.

A view of Bruneck in the Puster Valley



Bruneck was first settled back in the Stone Age. Objects found (such as the stone axe in Rasen), date back to the Bronze and Iron Ages and can be seen in Bruneck and places around it. Relicts of Roman times can be seen everywhere - such as the milestone in Sonnenburg directly on the main road, which marked the route the Legions took through the valley from Aquileja to Aguntum.

The Celtic-Illyrishen tribes were Christianised and taken over by Romans until the Bavarians took over the supremacy of the region (after savage battles with the Slaves) in the sixth century.

A witness of this is the founding of the ”Stift Innichen“ by Duke Tassilo II in 769 AD.

Reflected in the names of the region are the Bavarian settlers - The county Pustrissa was given to a Count who made Sunapurc (Sonnenburg) his home, which still exists and is now Castle Hotel Sonnenburg in Sankt Lorenzen.

In 1091 Emperor Henry VI gave the region (later to the Bruneck) to the Bishop of Brixen, Altwin.

In order to safeguard his lands and property Bishop Bruno von Kirchberg and Bullenstein built the Castle and town of Bruneck in 1250. In 1256 the settlement “apud Bruneke“ appears in the records. In 1370 the town was given the freedom of “weekly markets“.

Flourishing business and trade helped the town grow- At the beginning of the fifteenth century the first houses and workshops were built - mostly for the craftsmen. It was the birth of the picturesque ”Stadtgasse“. Floods in the 14th and 19th centuries, the plague (1543/44), catastrophic fires and earthquakes struck the town, but Bruneck was rebuilt again and again.

The years between 1814-1914 can be called the “flourishing years“ - visitors started to discover the region and alpinism begin to establish itself. 1871 saw the opening of the Puster Valley Railway.

With the outbreak of the First World War this period came to an end, although the town was spared destruction during the war. The Second World War took lives and left its mark behind.

Get in


There are various ways of getting here to the heart of the Alps - quickly and comfortably.

See more information on how to get to South Tyrol in general in that article.

By plane


There are pooled shuttle services from Verona (VRN IATA), Munich (MUC IATA), Innsbruck (INN IATA) and other Airports to Bruneck.

By train


Bruneck is on the Franzenfeste-Innchen(-Lienz) stretch (Pustertal Line). There are trains hourly in each direction. Most are new, easily accessible to people with reduced mobility. At Franzenfeste there is perfect connection (4 minutes wait) to and from trains to Brenner and Bolzano. A few trains continue right onward to Innsbruck, otherwise there is yet another perfectly timed connection at Brenner.

Its possible to take the train from Southeast or Central Europe (or Vienna) via Graz to Lienz and come straight into the Puster Valley and to Bruneck. Otherwise the normal route is via Innsbruck, the Brenner Pass and transferring at Franzenfeste.

By car


There are several possibilities to reach Bruneck. You can choose the direct route over the Brenner Pass or you can take a scenic route over several mountain passes.

  • Coming from the north on the motorway via the Brenner Pass.
  • Coming from the south via Verona on the Brenner Motorway.
  • Or coming from the north via Innsbruck on the main road across the Brenner Pass (E45).
  • Coming from the north via the Reschen Pass (Nr 40)
  • Coming from Switzerland via St. Moritz.
  • Coming from East Tyrol via Lienz.

For further detailed information, you can use any number of route-planning sites, and remember that if for some reason you can't find Bruneck on the site in question, you should try the town's Italian name, Brunico.

By bus


For information click onto the SAD (Società Automobilistica Dolomiti) website.

Get around

  • The Graben (Italian: Bastioni) is the main street/promenade running through the town. Many of the historic buildings in the town lie along it.
  • 1 Pragser Wildsee (Lago di Braies). The lake has earned the nickname "Pearl of the Alps", due to being increasingly popular among tourists.    
  • 2 Castle Bruneck. A castle from since 1276, sitting on a hill above the town.  
  • 1 Alta via 1 (Dolomite High Route 1). A 150-kilometre-long high-level public footpath, passing through some of the finest scenery in the Dolomites. This classic high route in the Dolomites is also the easiest. 10-15 days.    

  • 2 Kronplatz. A nearby mountain with ski slopes and hiking trails.    




  • 1 Hotel Schloss Sonnenburg (Castle Hotel Sonnenburg), Sonnenburg 38 - 39030 St. Lorenzen, +39 0474 474 999, fax: +39 0474 474 049. Standing on a hill above the confluence of the Rienz and Gader rivers, the former abbey (founded 1039) is now home to a castle hotel with a charm that is all its own: Cautiously integrated into the venerable castle walls and lovingly restored, the castle hotel offers 38 rooms, amidst the bizarrely shaped rock edifices of the Dolomites and the Puster Valley  

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