History of the Hotel "Cavallino d‘Oro"

Located on the main square of Castelrotto, Hotel Cavallino d'Oro looks back on 700 years of eventful history. This is closely interwoven with the towns history and here we unveil these exciting years of history:

The beginnings

(1300 - 1500)

The origins of the Hotel Cavallino d’Oro can be traced back to the year 1326. During this time, Castelrotto was very rural surrounded by fields, meadows and forests. Farmers, day labourers and craftsmen lived here, along with some aristocratic landowners, among them the famous minstrel Oswald von Wolkenstein (1377 - 1445). The farmhouse “Sallern” (the later Cavallino d’Oro) was located in the middle of this medieval village. Its inhabitants were poor farmers, but proud to be freeborn and obliged only to pay taxes to their landowners.

The change

(1500-1700)

Under the rule of the Wolkenstein and Kraus von Sala families, Castelrotto turned into the main village in the area. The number of traders and businessesmen other than farmers started growing significantly. For the first time, the „Cavallino“ was listed among the town’s taverns as the “Gasthaus am Kreuze”. It was primarily an inn where people met for food and drinks, but seasonal labourers and craftsmen also slept in some of the few rooms available.

The upswing

(1700-1850)

Around 1720, Castelrotto recorded a sharp increase in both the farmhands who cultivated the large arable land and other professions such as builders, tailors and millers. However, a large part of the population, especially in the surroundings, continued to live in poor conditions. The number of panhandlers in town grew so high, that in 1728 a special “supervisor” was appointed to control this "plague of beggars".

The local inns, however, benefited from the increased clientele. The "Cavallino" changed hands several times until it was bought in 1854 by Paul Prossliner, owner of the famous thermal bath Bad Ratz near Siusi. This bathing house had already been built in 1723 and had initiated the tourism in Castelrotto.

The village square and its bell tower

As one of the first houses on the village square of Castelrotto, the history of "Cavallino" is closely linked to this place. A devastating fire in 1753 severely damaged the church, the tower and 23 surrounding buildings, including Cavallino. While the church, which was still attached to the tower at that time, was repaired in makeshift manner, a new bell tower had to be built.
The impressive building, still standing at the entrance of our hotel, was completed in 1780, draining the municipal budget for decades. It was thus not until 1849 that today's church, separated from the bell tower, could be built, the old church be torn down and the space gained between the tower and church turned into the new village square (Krausplatz) and thus the heart of Castelrotto.
Interesting fact: around 1750 there was still a pillory in front of the bell tower used for punishment by public humiliation. When the fire destroyed it, it was the first thing to be rebuilt "to scare of evildoers and evil people".

The Strangers

(1850-1950)

Until 1887 there were only narrow paths that connected Castelrotto to the "outside" world. It was only in 1887 that the first road link was built and a daily horse mail set up on the Ponte Gardena – Castelrotto – Siusi line. The new road strongly relaunched the economy of Castelrotto, which until then was heavily dependent on the cultivation of wheat and hay. The first „strangers“ began to discover the beauties of the plateau. While initially the visitors came mainly from Bolzano and near surroundings, the fame of Castelrotto and Siusi as a holiday destination started spreading throughout Europe, so that in 1905 even the King of Saxony visited here.
Through the first cross-country skiing competitions, held at the end of the 19th century on the Alpe di Siusi, the area started gaining fame also as a winter destination and when in 1906 Doctor Alois Mayer opened the "Kurpension Kastelruth" (today Hotel Villa Kastelruth) offering health treatments, Castelrotto also became famous for its healing climate and excellent air quality.

Modern times

(1950 - today)

World War I and II and the deep economic depression suddenly interrupted the strong development of tourism in Castelrotto. Even the completion of the road leading up to Alpe di Siusi in 1937 and the opening of the Ortisei - Alpe di Siusi cable car in 1935 could not change this.

In the 1950s, with increasing motorization and better accessibility, there was a new upswing and Castelrotto and the Alpe di Siusi area developed into one of the most important tourist destinations in the Alps.
In 1956 the Rainer / Urthaler family acquired the "Cavallino d‘Oro". The family renovated it with loving care, and ran the hotel until 2020 with great passion and hospitality.

In 2020 the Demetz family takes the reins of the Cavallino into its hands to welcome the guests from all over the world.