Merano and surroundings hark back on an animated history, in which personalities such as Andreas Hofer had an important role to play.
“Castrum Maiense“, this is how the Roman settlement constructed in late antiquity was called, which later transformed into the city district of Maia. Merano itself was mentioned for the first time in 857. In the 13th century Merano was officially declared a city and was also the seat of the counts of Tyrol. However, when the counts transferred to Innsbruck, Merano lost its importance and leading position.
In the Tyrolean freedom fights of 1809, however, Merano regained attention: on Monte Benedetto above Merano, Tyrolean troupes guided by Andreas Hofer, defeated French and Bavarian troupes.
Merano has also got a very long tradition as health resort and is considered one of the first tourism strongholds of the era of the Habsburgs. A series of renowned personalities of politics and culture came to visit Merano, such as the empress Elizabeth as well as the author Franz Kafka.