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Issue no. 50 | Summer 2019

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Almanac 3 Zinnen Dolomites

Available free of charge at tourism associations and member companies


Foto: Drei Zinnen Marketing Wisthaler - Greber

Your individual holidays in the Dolomites At the Apparthotel Germania you will book more than just a room – you book an exclusive world of well-being. Whether you choose a hotel room or a holiday apartment, be sure of one thing: in any case, your stay with us will remain unforgotten!

Via Dolomiti 44 Dobbiaco · Tel. +39 0474 972160 · info@apparthotel-germania.com www.apparthotel-germania.com


Highlights at San Candido/Innichen

Meet and Greet 18.07. 25.07. 08.08. 15.08. 22.08. 29.08. 05.09. 12.07. – 14.07.19 AN ENTIRE VILLAGE CELEBRATES

SHOPPING, ENJOYMENT AND MUSIC Evening opening of the shops in the centre from 20.30 to 22.30, while the innkeepers offer the best of the local cuisine from 17.00. In addition there is a great music program until 23 o‘clock.

Foto: www.lichtundfokus.com

Delicious regional delicacies accompanied by an extensive and wideranging music programme on several stages and a varied children‘s programme promise an entertaining weekend.

07.09. – 08.09.2019 FARMERS AND CRAFTS MARKET WITH HEUGABEL FESTIVAL Piazza del Magistrato San Candido/Innichen Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm Sunday: 10 am – 3 pm

29.11.19 – 06.01.20 A CHRISTMAS MARKET IN THE SIGN OF TRADITION AND NATURALNESS

www.sancandido.info


©D. Gasparo

Dear guests from near and far, The audience applauds the fireworks, but not the sunrise, the well-known German dramatist Friedrich Hebbel once complained. This statement is hardly applicable nowadays. Nature is the in thing again, perhaps also as an urgently needed counterpoise to the ever-increasing hustle and bustle in our world. If you long for nature and are looking for peace and seclusion, something original and down-to-earth without sacrificing comfort, then the Hochpustertal valley is just the place for you. Our homeland, the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites, with its fascinating natural scenery and breath-taking mountain formations is captivating. At the same time, we offer our guests a multi-faceted range of services to experience the beauty of nature in all its facets. Always paying special attention to the protection and preservation of this precious gem. Because, even with all our enthusiasm, we must not forget that this is one of the primary duties we should all embrace: to treat our UNESCO World Heritage with care, not only for our own purposes, but also for the benefit of future generations. With that in mind, we warmly welcome you to our little paradise! Enjoy your stay with us in the Hochpustertal, make the most of your time, have fun with our countless leisure activities, and relax in the midst of our magnificent Dolomite landscape. Or, simply put, enjoy the wonders of nature, like, for example, a sunrise ... In order to guide you through your summer vacation as informed as possible, the current issue of the Almanac should be a valuable aid. Here you will find all sorts of interesting facts – curious and exciting – around the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites. Naturally, our tourism associations are gladly at your disposal for further information. We hope you enjoy browsing and wish you an unforgettable holiday!

Dieter Wurmböck President of the Tourist Board 4

Your president of the Hochpustertal Tourism Association Dieter Wurmböck


OUR HOUSE. YOUR HOTEL.

Sporthotel Tyrol **** | Via Drava 12 San Candido | Tel. +39 0474 913 198 | info@sporthoteltyrol.it | www.sporthoteltyrol.it


In this edition Anniversary year

Summer 2019

San Candido/

150 years Große Zinne mountain

Giants, reindeer and rapid toboggan runs

Innichen 1250 years

Time to celebrate

Haunold, Helm and Rotwand

�������������������������������������������������� 8–12

����������������������������������������������� 32–37

����������������������������������������������� 46–47

Nearly forgotten crafts

Get social!

A touch of nostalgia

Every stone is a piece of history

������������������������������������������������ 14–16

Discovery tour around

����������������������������������������������� 50–51

the villages

Exceptional hiking experiences

of Dobbiaco/Toblach

Thematic trails

����������������������������������������������� 38–41

and Villabassa/Niederdorf

������������������������������������������������ 18–21

Prioritising in sustainable mobility Pragser Tal valley –

Hiking with a view Always high as the sky

Giants, reindeer and rapid toboggan runs

����������������������������������������������� 42–43

vision: car-free!

Having a ball together

With ambition for a mountain refuge

Hikers and mountain bikers

Marchkinkele mountain

����������������������������������������������� 28–31

����������������������������������������������� 44–45

����������������������������������������������� 22–26

Anniversary year: San Candido/ Innichen 1250 years

46–47

150 years Große Zinne mountain 8–12

32–37

CREDITS Our partner:

Editor: Drei Zinnen Marketing Editor in charge: Michael Wachtler Grafics und Layout: Werbeagentur Rotwild (Brixen) – www.rotwild.it Printing: Litopat S.p.A. Editorial office & coordination: Drei Zinnen Marketing Translations: “porta germanica”, Maria Luisa Schäfer Cover: Rainer Eder All information is subject to change

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ŠH. Wisthaler


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Anniversary year: San Candido/ Innichen 1250 years

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ŠM. Kottersteger

This year, the historic market town of San Candido is celebrating a very special birthday. Because, unbelievably, this exceptionally popular place in the heart of the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites, visited by guests from all over the world, has existed for the past 1250 years. Amazingly, the military station Littamum, today's San Candido, was founded back in the days of the Roman Empire. As a result of a donation by Duke Tassilo III from Bavaria, San Candido, much the same as the entire Hochpustertal valley, used to belong to the Hochstift of Freising for many centuries. His rule eventually ended in the beginning of the 19th century in the wake of secularization; and San Candido was subsequently conquered by the Bavarians. Notably, being awarded the weekly market rights in 1303 by King Albrecht II, was a turning point in the development of San Candido. It made the village not only the second oldest market town in Tyrol, but also contributed to its great economic success. The emergence of tourism in the 18th and 19th century was also important for the development of San Candido. With the opening of the Pustertal railway line, tourism, then still in its infancy, reached new di-

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mensions. Consequently, this initiated a construction boom, new restaurants, the emergence of a spa culture and, last but not least, attracted well-heeled international guests. From the middle of the last century, San Candido consequently inexorably developed into a popular holiday destination both in summer and winter. The people of San Candido, including the numerous associations and institutions, are embracing this joyous event as an opportunity to contemplate the past, reflect on the present and look to the future with new perspectives ... and, of course, to duly celebrate with suitable zest! Accordingly, a colourful series of events and projects revolving around the Hochpustertal community has been on the programme since the beginning of the year.


©M. Kottersteger

Here are some summer highlights on the event calendar:

Journey through the past A place as old as San Candido has a great deal to show and tell. Based on this central idea, this exciting and entertaining journey of discovery bears witness to the turbulent history of the market town in 27 different locations – with the help of a sketched route, accompanied by a brochure, which guides you from stage to stage and is peppered with all sorts of trivia and a QR code that links history buffs to more interesting facts on the anniversary homepage. The route leads you from churches to chapels and over stately residences to contemporary unobtrusive, modest buildings that once fulfilled important functions. In addition, each of these selected sights serves as a "stamp place". After diligently collecting all the stamps the complete elements will reveal … – but wait: this will not yet be disclosed! After all, back at the starting point, San Candido’s Tourism Association at the Pflegplatz, successful participants will be awarded a "Trophy" together with a small acknowledgment. The tourism association will provide the participants with the brochure featuring the route.

©A. Huber

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Exhibition “My Innichen” The aim of this exhibition, organised by the association Farbklecks, is to promote and illustrate the creativity of San Candido’s residents. The exhibition will be attended by artistic talents and craftsmen born or living in San Candido, as well as members of the association Farbklecks (Blur of Colour) and the Freisinger Hobbykünstler E.V. (Freisinger Hobby Artists Association). Date: 1st July to 28th August 2019 Opening hours: Mondays and Wednesdays Mondays: 8:30–10:30 pm, with musical accompaniment Wednesdays: 4–7 pm, with artisans in action Location: Haus Kössler, Via Sesto, San Candido

©Farbklecks

Historical Parade As part of the 15th San Candido market festival from 12th to 14th July – a biennial event that is in itself popular far beyond the city limits – visitors can be assured that a spectacular festive parade will take place on the occasion of this anniversary. Based on Egon Kühebacher’s concept, a historian born and bred in San Candido, the history of San Candido is shown in 25 representations (parade floats and groups on foot) accompanied by various musical bands. Date: 14th July 2019 Time: 11 am Location: town centre, San Candido

©Foto Klose

Festive concert: 1250 years of Sacral Music This is certainly not only a very special treat for lovers of sacral music ... Date: 29th September 2019 Time: 4 pm Ort: Collegiate Church, San Candido

©M. Kottersteger

Interested visitors can find further information about the anniversary celebrations and events on the homepage www.1250.bz.it Judith Steinmair (Author)

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Fam. Ortner Via al Ponte dei Corrieri, 1 I - 39038 San Candido Tel. +39 0474 913 588 www.villastefania.com info@villastefania.com


Nearly forgotten

crafts A touch of nostalgia

Is everything machine-made these days? Is everything digitised in 2019? Indeed, times have changed, artisanship is not as common as it used to be. And yet, some people have kept to the original ways and continue traditions that would otherwise be forgotten. This also applies to many old crafts, which have often long gone out of fashion in "progressive" countries, but in South Tyrol, there are still people who have devoted themselves to old craftsmanship. This is hardly surprising, because after all, South Tyrol has always been a patch of earth in which crafts have played an important role – even today. Carving may be a typical example, but bobbin lace making, felting, hand weaving or basket weaving are among the crafts that have been practiced for generations. Of course, in the meantime some of these activities are intended less as a purpose of gainful employment, but rather serve as a nostalgic ideal. However, there are still nimble-fingered South Tyroleans, who earn their livelihood or at least their extra income because of it. This is also apparent in the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites. The Almanac visited two of these artisans and monitored their activities ...

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©Herman Kühebacher

Curtains up for: hand weavers Herman Kühebacher The weavers’ guild looks back on a long tradition, and up until the 19th century, weaving was one of the most important craft trades. Today, there is only one person in South Tyrol, who still practices the old craftsmanship of shaft weaving: Herman Kühebacher. Herman, who grew up in San Candido/Innichnen, developed his passion for this technique during his travels through Scotland and Ireland, where this type of weaving art is still practiced. His curiosity was followed by deeds, and with much patience and perseverance Herman Kühebacher acquired the traditional technique; with the result that he initially opened his own weaving mill in 1996 in his apartment. In the meantime, Kühebacher is working in his workshop in the centre of Villabassa/Niederdorf, which also serves as a sales outlet. And customers who enter the store are really spoiled for choice. Although Herman only wove classic linen by the metre in the beginning, his extensive product range now includes high-quality wool fabrics and blankets, bath, sauna and hand towels, as well as tablecloths, curtains and also scarves or carpets and much more.

However, his credo has remained the same to this day: the hand weaver from the Hochpustertal valley uses only raw natural fibres, such as sheep's wool and flax produced by farmers in the region. All materials are natural and not chemically treated. Non-local fibres, such as silk and fine wools, including alpaca, vicuna or cashmere, are sourced directly by Herman, by cutting out the middleman and buying from rural, small cooperatives. Animal welfare and fair trade are paramount for him. "Our values have to be in sink," says Herman Kühebacher. Every step, leading up to the finished textile product, is done by hand. The fibres are dyed with natural colours, wool is fulled in a conventional manner with an old fulling mill, and the manual operation of the loom is also extremely exacting and timeconsuming. For example, simply pulling the threads for a 60 metre long fabric, takes a month, and to weave two large towels Kühebacher has to factor in about one day. What actually makes the weaving rewarding, remains an open question. But for Herman Kühebacher it is simply a passion. And sometimes passion outweighs money ...

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We proudly present: basket weavers Hans Plack Even the craft of basket weaving can only be found in isolated instances in this country. In the Pustertal valley, there are only a handful of weavers who still practice this ancient art; which is the weaving technique that uses the art of twisting and interlacing branches, grasses and roots together, and dates back to about 10,000 B.C. Up until the middle of the last century, it was still common in this area for farmers to weave, especially in the more leisurely winter time. Hans Plack, hailing from Villabassa, has learned to weave from scratch from masters with over 60 years of experience – mind you, only after his retirement in 1997, when he had the time to do so. He had always been a gifted craftsman, and his passion for wood had already been reflected in the woodturning and fretwork he practiced. The weaving craft was not only a whole new dimension, but also a good combination, which is reflected in his collection. From bread and wooden baskets, to cradles and humpback lid baskets, you'll find just about everything, and then even a little more ... What is required for basket weaving? Well, above all, a good eye, patience and then, of course, strong fingers, claims Hans Plack. Because it requires quite a significant amount of physical effort, contrary to what one might expect. And accordingly, the craft is also primarily exercised by men. Or, to be more specific, in the end the gender of the craftsperson is dependent on the materials. Raw materials from Mother Nature, such as hazel branches, willow branches and spruce roots, are used for weaving ... The softer willow branches are preferred by women, as they are eventually more suited to a less physically challenging weaving process. Therefore, since hazel branches are a lot harder, this workmanship leans more towards men’s hands. Speaking of hands: when asked if a mechanical weaving workshop would not be more feasible, the craftsman from Villabassa just smiles. There have certainly been attempts to split the wooden poles 16

©Tourist Office San Candido

with the help of a specially built machine ... a bad investment, as logically each pole has its own shape and is not straight and therefore they are all different. So it is still required to do this manually. And this is simply too expensive. Hans needs just one day for a smaller basket, and for bigger ones, like humpback lid baskets, he needs up to a week. If one then calculates the material costs, and respectively also takes into account the time it takes to procure the material in nature, the whole exercise does not really seem worthwhile. A pity, because Hans Plack's products are popular and go down well. But as so often happens, the annoying theme of "money" always seems to hamper creativity and creative urges. Hans officially closed his small business last year. Nevertheless, he is not taking it easy. In addition to woodturning and fret sawing, he continues to practice weaving and has delighted numerous spectators in markets or schools with his dexterity – because basket weaving is his passion and his favourite hobby!

Judith Steinmair (Author)


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ŠM. Kottersteger


Thematic trails in the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites

Exceptional hiking experiences You can just take a walk in your hiking boots and relax in the great outdoors ... but you do not have to. Classic hiking is exercise therapy – positively wonderful and peaceful. However, in the meantime, more and more recognised themed trails are sprouting up and offer hikers a great alternative to the traditional hiking tour. The focus, as such, is not only on the physical activity, but also promises an exceptional experience en route.

Nomen est omen – theme trails are dedicated to a specifically selected subject and provide information and experiences about it at various stations. Nature, history, legends or South Tyrolean products ... the conceptionalists’ and designers’ imagination and enthusiasm are given free rein, and together the different approaches are solely a combination of the local conditions. As a result, there is something for everyone on the theme trails and, above all, they prove to be ideal for trips with the entire family. A hike could not be more exciting, interesting and educational than on a themed trail! So, be sure to include them in your vacation plans. Continue reading to learn more about some (secret) tips in the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites!

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©H. Trenker

©E. Steiner


©H. Trenker

©H. Trenker

©H. Trenker

Villabassa/Niederdorf Energy Sites and Forest Therapy Theme Trail The tranquil village in the Hochpustertal valley has made a name for itself far beyond the borders of our country in terms of wellness; and proudly adorns itself with the title for the 1st Kneipp for me® adventure village in Italy. The Energy Sites and Forest Therapy theme trail is also dedicated to the teachings of Kneipp. The meditation route leads around a circuit of energising places. The energies of nature are supposed to initiate a healing process in order to gain strength and to find natural balance at ten stations, selected and mapped out by the geomancer Alexandra von Hellberg.

church over the biotope, meadows and forests to Bagni Pian di Maia/Bad Maistatt – they are also so varied within their relaxation and regeneration experiences. The various elements – earth, air and water – guide the hikers along their way to bond with mother nature, to strengthen the self and to find inner peace. Revitalised by the ancient wisdom of nature and hopefully with many more insights, you can then confidently return to everyday life.

While the various energy sites are so quiet, mystical and idyllically situated – for example, from the Drei Urschen Häusl house and the Mooskirche

For further information please contact the Villabassa Tourism Association/ Tourismusverein Niederdorf.

Special tip: Why not try the forest bath at the end!

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Valle di Braies/ Pragser Tal valley

©E. Steiner

©E. Steiner

Maite – the natural spring trail The focus of this theme trail is the element of water. The Maite spring is named after the area of its origin, which lies between Daumkofelspitze mountain peak and the left bank of the Stollabach river. The word Maite can be traced back to the now uncommon Maute, which sort of means "rainy weather, but with no rain". A Mauttag is thus a "cloudy day". Starting from the Altprags spa, the educational trail leads past the nostalgic fishing lakes of Bagni di Braies Vecchia/Bad Altprags. Signposts along the way show the key characteristics of natural springs, providing information about vegetation, flora and the diversity of organisms and animals that like to settle and reside near them.

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“Viktor Wolf Edler von Glanvell“ theme trail This trail focuses on the Dolomite pioneer, Viktor Wolf Edler von Glanvell, and tells a piece of alpine history. The ambitious mountain climber set new standards in alpine history with his numerous first ascents in the Pragser Dolomite mountains at the end of the 19th century. The various stations tell of the life and outstanding achievements of the Dolomite pioneer, which are conveyed in an exciting way, while including all sorts of information on the flora and fauna or on the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Dolomites. The breathtaking beauty of the environment is also outstanding. The start and end point of the hike is the world-famous Pragser Wildsee lake, which truly deserves its epithet “Pearl of the Dolomite Lakes”.


Trail of Legends The different stations lead the hikers into the mystical world of Braies-/Prags-related legends. Narratives and stories have always played an important role in the history of the people of this world, from generation to generation. In general, the Pragser Tal valley and the legendary Dolomites especially look back on a long and eventful history. Therefore it is the ideal breeding ground for myths and legends. Stories from another time ‌ stories that not only tell of the hunt, of rich natural springs and the life-giving water, of strangers, savages and outsiders, but also of the heroes, of religion, of survival, of dying and of death. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of myths! For further information please contact the Valle di Braies tourism association/Tourismusverein Pragser Tal.

ŠE. Steiner

ŠE. Steiner

Judith Steinmair (Author)

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©S. Angerer

prioritising Pragser Tal valley –

IN SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY Vision: car-free!

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©M. Kottersteger

The following scenario is well-known: a wonderful summer’s day, and everyone is looking forward to their leisure destination – so off they go to the Pragser Wildsee lake! But congested roads and hopelessly overcrowded car parks prey on their minds, which results in dissatisfied visitors and an avalanche of complaints. Hence, the goal is to make Braies/Prags as car-free as possible! The Pragser Tal, with its wonderful natural landscapes and oases is known far beyond its national borders and attracts numerous visitors every day. And above all, the Pragser Wildsee is unrivalled and is – quite rightly – a true pearl among all the lakes of the Dolomites. However, as is generally known, popularity and a certain degree of notoriety, in conjunction with veritable slab avalanches which have swept through the beautiful natural landscapes during high season, also have their drawbacks. Those responsible are now

increasingly trying to master this bad state of affairs in the spirit of sustainable mobility. And, thus, the Braies traffic concept will be applied again this year. As a result, the road closure will not only be extended for the benefit of the local population, but in the end also for the benefit of the visitors. Accordingly, the road to Ponticello/ Brückele – Prato Piazza/Plätzwiese plateau and the road to the Pragser Wildsee will be closed this summer. Because, above all, the basic principles on which sustainable mobility are based are as follows: peace, living in harmony with nature and relaxation. Basically, we all want one thing:

to enjoy the beauties within our UNESCO World Heritage listed region of the Dolomites – and to do so without stress!

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New roundabout at the entrance to the valley – to avoid congestion As of this year, a new roundabout, with three additional lanes at the Prags passage, is planned to remedy the tailbacks on the Pustertaler main road and to disentangle the traffic junction. Therefore, from now onward, there will be no fee to enter or exit the Pragser Tal, whether in a private vehicle or on a bus!

Road closures – limits for vehicles The road to the Pragser Tal remains closed from the town of Segheria/Säge from the 10/07/2019 to the 10/09/2019 during the time from 10 am to 3 pm.

P

Car parks – the adventure starts Welcome to the fascinating Pragser Tal! If you arrive by car, you will find paid parking in the following locations: Segheria, Ponticello, Prato Piazza and at the Pragser Wildsee. This is the start of your exciting expedition!

Tr a n s i t p e r m i t s – w i t h e x c e p t i o n s Of course, a special arrangement applies to guests of any accommodation facilities, restaurants and shops. The corresponding transit permits are issued with the respective reservation. Hotel guests will receive a link with their reservation confirmation and can thus generate their access permit for the booked period independently. Foodies and shopping enthusiasts can go to either of the following homepages www.prags.bz or www.braies.bz for their reservation and to obtain their transit permit.

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©M. Kottersteger

Initiatives, innovations and general information


©M. Kottersteger

P u b l i c Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n –

Braies on foot – the perfect

for the sake of our environment

alternative for your body and mind

So you would like to get to Prags valley comfortably and stress-free? Then use the buses – travelling on a bus is efficient and protects the environment! Visitors can take public transportation from the towns of Monguelfo/Welsberg, Villabassa/ Niederdorf and Dobbiaco/Toblach to the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage listed region of the Dolomites.

Are you dreaming about an unforgettable day trip? Then explore the fabulous Prags valley on light feet ... Because all roads lead to Braies. Well, maybe not all, but it offers more than enough beautiful hiking trails with comfortable rest stops along the routes!

Timetables are also available at www.prags.bz and www.braies.bz

©R. Eder

From Villabassa: From the train station, the trail leads along Kirchweg street to Lärcha and on to Segheria (approx. 1.5 hours). From there the trail no. 1 (theme trail Viktor Wolf Edler von Glanvell) leads to Pragser Wildsee (approx. 2 hours). From Monguelfo: Follow the path no. 2A from the train station to Ferrara/Schmieden (approx. 1.5 hours); then take path no. 1 (theme trail Viktor Wolf Edler von Glanvell) (1.5 hours to the lake). From the Segheria car park to the Prato Piazza: The route leads along path No. 37 (approx. 3.5 hours). From Ponticello to the Pragser Wildsee: From this starting point it will take approx. 2 hours along path no. 37. Pragser Berg mountain: Starting from the Segheria or Ferrara car park, take the hiking trail over the Sonnenberg mountain to San Vito/St. Veit (1.5 hours); from there onward, follow the section of trail no. 1 (theme trail Viktor Wolf Edler von Glanvell) and continue to the lake (approx. 30 minutes). This hike offers a wonderful view of the valley below. 25


Conduct in the nature reserve and on the trails Being mindful towards nature is the alpha and omega of our existence. Together we bear the responsibility for the preservation of our unique flora and fauna; as we owe this to future generations, because after all, Mother Nature is our livelihood.

To p r o t e c t o u r n a t u r e r e s e r v e , the following rules apply and we count on your support! • Rubbish belongs in a bin. If none are available, we ask you to take it back with you and to not just throw it away. • Please use the toilets in the public enterprises or the toilet facilities! The first tree should not be an alternative option! • Pay attention to nature: please do not destroy it wilfully! Trees, flowers, mushrooms and wild animals are entitled to their habitat. • It is prohibited to fly drones over crowds. • The use of kayaks, stand up paddles, canoes, boats, etc. made of plastic near or in the Pragser Wildsee is prohibited. • Dogs are not allowed to swim in the Pragser Wildsee. Dog waste must be collected and disposed of accordingly. Please do not throw the bag behind the very next tree. • Camping and lighting campfires or similar are prohibited.

Judith Steinmair (Author)

©J. Rushforth

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ŠM. Kottersteger


HAVING A BALL together I N C R E A S I N G LY , H I K E R S A N D M O U N TA I N B I K E R S T R AV E L TO G E T H E R O N M A N Y P AT H S . T H I S C A N WORK VERY WELL. ALL IT TA K E S I S M U T U A L U N D E R S TA N D I N G A N D C O N S I D E R AT I O N TOWA R D S E AC H OT H E R .

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ŠM. Kottersteger

These days, one comes across a growing amount of mountain bikers, everywhere in the mountains. This tendency is rising, especially since even less well-trained cyclists can effortlessly pedal up the summit with their e-bikes. Many use existing forest roads, which are wide enough for a trouble-free coexistence between bikers and hikers, but more and more are also en route on the narrow trails. This holds a potential for conflicts that can be defused with a little more serenity and understanding towards each other. But sometimes the relationship between hikers and mountain bikers is reminiscent of the early days of snowboarding. Some skiers had a hard time sharing their slopes with others.

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ŠM. Kottersteger

Similarly, it now echoes this here in the summer, when mountain bikers use routes which had been reserved for hikers for many years. In addition to the classic Stoneman Trail or the challenging Giro Bike Tour, which meanders over four mountains and reaches almost 3,500 vertical metres, mountain bikers will find many other fantastic routes in the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites. However, some passages lead over trails used by hikers, and this is where the problem starts. At least only some of them make it a problem. Still, if everyone sticks to the ten rules compiled by the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites, then a harmonious coexistence of hikers and bikers is quite possible.


Many objectives are self-evident, for instance: the obligation to drive only on signposted routes and trails, leaving no trace behind in order to protect the soil and vegetation or to adapt one’s pace to the respective situation. Also issues such as consideration for wild animals and grazing livestock, or considering waste prevention, should be taken into account by everyone – in everyday life and even more so when staying in the mountains. Naturally, mutual respect is imperative, because the paths are there for everyone. And this especially pertains to the mountain bikers. Like everywhere in life, faster adventurers should be heedful of slower sightseers. Hence the saying: hikers and strollers should not be frightened by the high speeds or obstructive tires of the bikers!

Therefore, be mindful of driving slowly, announce yourself timeously by ringing your bell, or even better, by extending a friendly greeting, and then slowly overtake keeping a safe distance. And if you meet a hiker, then just take a short break, pull to the side and exchange a few pleasant words – it’s just a moment to spare … and share. All bikers that adhere to these rules will ensure that both sides will experience an enjoyable day in the mountains – and cyclists in Dobbiaco/ Toblach and its surrounding areas will be able to practice their sport without a worry in the future.

A click away from ten simple rules for sustainable behaviour on the trails and in nature: https://www.drei-zinnen.info/en/dobbiaco/action-sport/ summer/cycling-and-mountain-biking/10-tips-for-mtb-and-e-mtb.html Stefan Herbke (Author) 31


ŠG. Kamelger

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r ŠG. K a m e lg e

150 years GroĂ&#x;e Zinne mountain Time to celebrate Alpinism is considered by many to be the birth of tourism in the Hochpustertal valley. In the same vein, the first ascent of the GroĂ&#x;e Zinne mountain, 150 years ago, is a milestone. The region is celebrating this anniversary throughout the summer with a varied programme of events.

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©G. Kamelger

"The Three Peaks mountain range is the jewel of the Dolomites," enthuses Christoph Hainz, "it is world-renowned and, like hardly any other mountain range, has a striking, incomparable shape – and that's why it has a particular magical attraction." The mountain guide from the Pustertal valley is one of the best mountaineers in the world and knows the Three Peaks inside and out – by having achieved no less than five first ascents here. He consequently knows all about the charisma of these extraordinary “mountain monuments”. The three boldly shaped rock obelisks with their imposing north walls, which protrude vertically and then arch into the sky, are a real eye-catcher. However, it was a long time coming before the first ascent of the 2,999 metre high Große Zinne. It was the higher, more than 3,000 metre high peaks of the Dolomites that first caught the mountaineers’ fancy, before other mountains came into focus. In the summer of 1869, alpine history was finally made in the Sextner Dolomites. After the successful first ascent of the Dreischusterspitze peak on 18th July 1869 by the Viennese Paul Grohmann, who, since 1869, had achieved many first ascents in the Dolomites, the time had come for the Große Zinne peak. Together with his experienced guides Peter Salcher from Carinthia and the stonemason Franz Innerkofler, from Sesto/ Sexten, Grohmann started his expedition near the Ploner tavern in the Carbonin/Schluderbach district. On the same normal route used nowadays, they proudly reached the summit of the Große Zinne on 21st August 1869 at 9:13 am. 34

In 2019, the celebrations around the 150th anniversary of the first ascent will impact the entire holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites, named after its landmark peaks. Extraordinary events and festivals are scheduled in the region throughout the summer. The Touriseum, South Tyrol Museum of Tourism, has placed a blue suitcase displaying the beginnings of the alpine history and the story of the pioneer Paul Grohmann both at the Hotel Drei Zinnen in the Landro/Höhlenstein village and at the train station in Dobbiaco/Toblach. A special highlight in the calendar is, of course, the anniversary of the first ascent, during which a monument in the form of a time capsule is inaugurated at the Dreizinnenhütte refuge. The container encapsulates the wishes, hopes and ideas for the protection and preservation of the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites region, formulated by primary school pupils from Sesto and Dobbiaco, as well as politicians and members of local associations. The thoughts were written on handmade cotton paper made by the paper and watermark museum in Fabriano, a designated UNESCO Creative City, using a special pen designed for astronaut missions, which does not fade and lasts for years. The time capsule will be sealed on 21st August 2019 – and will only be reopened in 50 years time. The installation of the time capsule will be accompanied by an extensive supporting programme, which will include musical performances between the Auronzohütte and the Dreizinnenhütte refuges, as well as in the historically experienceable Fischleintal valley.


The anniversary day will be concluded with the premiere of the new mountain movie by Reinhold Messner in Dobbiaco. The 45-minute documentary "Die Große Zinne" shows the fascination with the pinnacles through the ages, in time lapse. "Nowhere else can the development of alpine climbing be better described, from the beginning to the present day, than at the Große Zinne mountain," Messner explains his motivation for the film. The storyline is based on five success stories about great mountaineers, all of whom are committed to the development of sport climbing and the pioneering spirit of their time, and who have left their mark on the Three Peaks with spectacular first ascents and extraordinary achievements. This select circle comprises: Hans Dülfer, whose first-ever route through the west wall in 1913 had been considered to be the most difficult ascent to the peak for a very long time; Emilio Comici, who in 1933 was the first to conquer the north face with the brothers G. and A. Dimai; Dieter Hasse with Lothar Brandler, who were the first to work their way through the central, strikingly yellow wall fractures with their overhangs to the summit; and, of course, the extreme climber Alexander Huber, who, with his free solo ascent of the Direttissima, virtually launched a new age in climbing. However, the focus is on first ascender Paul Grohmann, who is being portrayed in the film by the South Tyrolean Anton Algrang. For Erwin Steiner, who assisted with the planning and execution of the filming, Grohmann was primarily concerned with the scientific aspects, i.e. the exploration of the Dolomites and the surveying of the highest peaks – therefore a heavy barometer was part of his equipment from 1863. "And to reach his

goals, he had to climb," said Steiner. The mountain guide from Braies/Prags chose some of South Tyrol's best mountaineers as actors for his film. Amongst others, who can be seen in the historically re-enacted scenes, are the South Tyrolean alpinists Alex Waldboth, Martin Dejori, Manfred Stuffer and Simon Messner, who was also responsible for the authentic historical costumes. "We do not want to leave anything to chance and want to take the spectators into the world of climbing, as was the norm 150 years ago," says Messner. Even the original equipment of the first ascenders was partly used for filming.

The Große Zinne is not only a landmark of the Dolomites, but also the symbol of an important part of the history of mountaineering,”

explains Reinhold Messner. Or, as Erwin Steiner says: "The Three Peaks are like an open book of climbing history." And is the figurehead of the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites. Many want to see the world-famous picture postcard motif at least once with their own eyes. But some want more. "For many, it is a dream to stand on the peak of the Große Zinne – even for many locals", Christoph Hainz knowingly says about the enduring appeal, "no wonder, it’s simply a dream mountain." And in the year 2019, this mountain will be the focal point of the celebrations, to which all alpinists, mountaineers, hikers and mountain lovers are warmly invited.

©G. Kamelger

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Excerpts from the programme 150 years Große Zinne mountain 7th June 2019 Following a lecture by Erwin Steiner on the subject of alpine history, the screening of a film about the re-enactment of the Superdirettissima of the Große Zinne mountain will be premiered. Reiner Kauschke, Peter Siegert and Gerd Uhner needed 17 days for the first ascent in the winter of 1963 at minus 30°C. Together with mountaineering legend Christoph Hainz, the now 80-year-old Reiner Kauschke repeated this climb – but this time in 17 hours in the summer. 9th June 2019 In the months of June and July, a unique staging of the Sesto Sundial will be on display – known as a huge, stony clockwork, it indicates the time with its peaks at nine, ten (Sextner Rotwand mountain), eleven, twelve and one. The opening will take place on 9th June as part of the Dolomites UNESCO Festival with a brunch and a concert by the Sesto brass band. 13th–16th June 2019 In Dobbiaco, 150 years of history of the South Tyrolean Alpine Association will be celebrated with a colourful hiking programme and a closing concert by the Dobbiaco brass band. 26th June 2019 Sesto will be bringing the summit books down to the valley as of the 26th of June, and by including them in a spectacular walk-in art installation – exhibited in conjunction with its sister city, Zermatt – they will be made accessible and become an authentic experience.

13th–20th July 2019 Sesto welcomes all enthusiastic hikers to the traditional mountaineering week. The invitation inspires with a varied programme of guided tours and hikes in the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage region, as well as various evening events. In cooperation with the Alpine School Sexten Drei Zinnen, as well as the Three Peaks Nature Park, theme-related lectures and guided mountain tours are offered on magnificent panoramic climbs. 18th July 2019 It was on 18th July 1869, early on a Sunday morning, when the first humans stood on the Dreischusterspitze summit and shook hand – the first officially documented summit rendezvous between man and mountain in the Sextner mountains, and the kick-off for many more. Exactly 150 years later, this remarkable milestone in Sesto’s history is fittingly celebrated, with great live music and a PEAKnic with a view in the Stadile Winkl. The original route to the Dreischusterspitze summit is spectacularly illuminated by the Alpine School Sexten Drei Zinnen. 20th July 2019 The 3rd edition of the Sesto Vertical Arena Sexten will be a rendezvous of international alpinism authorities and stars, who will thrill the audience with stories about their adventures. The evening ends with an exciting panel discussion and the possibility of a direct exchange with climbers. 16th August 2019 The actor, Carlo-Emanuele Esposito, presents his scenic tale about the climbing pioneer, Emilio Comici (first ascender of the north face of the Große Zinne mountain in 1933), at the Euregio Kulturzentrum Gustav Mahler cultural centre in Dobbiaco at 9 pm (in Italian).

©G. Kamelger

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ANNIVERSARY WEEK (19th–26th August 2019) 19th August 2019 Experience time travel in the footsteps of the first ascenders with the historian Wolfgang Strobl from Dobbiaco and the hiking guide Antonella Fornari, on the Paul Grohmann trail through the Rienztal valley. 21st August 2019 A large mountain festival, in honour of the first ascenders of the Große Zinne, takes place around the Three Peaks and in its valleys. Special attractions are: the time capsule installation at the Dreizinnenhütte refuge, as well as the historically experienceable Fischleintal valley. At 8 pm, the premiere of the mountain movie "Die Große Zinne" begins in the Dobbiaco ice rink. Subsequently, the director Reinhold Messner and the movie actors and protagonists answer the visitors' questions. Filming started at the end of July 2018 in the Hochpustertal valley. On the initiative of the Tourism Association Dobbiaco and in close collaboration with the tourist associations of Sesto, San Candido/Innichen, Villabassa/Niederdorf and Pragser Tal valley, the documentary will pay tribute to the performance of the various first ascents on the Große Zinne mountain.

22nd August 2019 In the evening, the Drei Zinnen Nature Park Visitors’ Centre invites you to a talk entitled "10 years UNESCO World Heritage". 23rd August 2019 Young, junior alpinists can climb with the mountain guide office, Globo Alpin, in the military climbing garden in the Höhlensteintal valley, following in the footsteps of the great alpinists. In the evening, the village festival under the motto "Hosted by the farmer – South Tyroleans mountaineer snacks" takes place in the centre of Dobbiaco. This is an opportunity for all mountaineers and mountain lovers to sit together comfortably and end the evening on a relaxed note with live music. 24th August 2019 The mountain rescue service of the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites, who are very important to all mountaineers and hikers, invite all mountain lovers to a mountaineering party in Dobbiaco on the evening of 24th August 2019 as part of the "Toblach Vormas", the Dobbiaco farmers market. 30th September to 1st October 2019 On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the inclusion of the Dolomites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Dolomites UNESCO forum and fireside chats will be held in Sesto.

Further information about the scheduled events is available at www.dobbiaco.info/ThreePeaks

Stefan Herbke (Author)

©G. Kamelger

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BUILDINGS TELL EXCITING STORIES

Every stone is a piece of history Buildings tell exciting stories: about the people who built and inhabited them, and about the events that took place over the centuries. Let us take you on a discovery tour to some of the stony eyewitnesses around the villages of Dobbiaco/Toblach and Villabassa/Niederdorf.

The Hochpustertal valley has been inhabited since the Stone Age; and during the Roman and medieval periods, the important trade route Strada d’Alemagna passed through the region and connected the economic centres of Augsburg and Venice. In the 19th century, the newly opened Southern Railway brought illustrious holiday guests to the area. The most diverse people lived and still live here, ranging from high nobility to pilgrims. This eventful history is also reflected in the numerous historic buildings that have many exciting tales to tell.

©H. Wisthaler

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©M. Schönegger


©H. Wisthaler

©H. Wisthaler

WHERE EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN RESIDED

©Drei Zinnen Marketing

Not far from the parish church of Dobbiaco is the stately home of Herbstenburg Castle, which was acquired and developed into an official residence of the court around the year 1500 by the brothers Kaspar and Christoph von Herbst, overlords of Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg. Christoph von Herbst, who was the judge in Dobbiaco, occasionally used the castle as his court house. Accordingly, the court prisons were housed in the cellar vaults. However, Herbstenburg Castle also accommodated imperial guests: between 1508 and 1511, Emperor Maximilian I temporarily resided here; and it was from Herbstenburg Castle that the "last knight" convened the Diet of Augsburg in 1508. The castle was the centre of a larger fortified complex reaching all the way to the Red Tower in the northwest of Dobbiaco. The square tower and the castle are linked by means of an underground passage and the Dobbiaco defence wall also begins at the tower. The square building was completed around 1430 and named Hornberger Turm (Hornberg Tower) after its builder and was later given its present name due to its reddish coating. Both the Red Tower and Herbstenburg Castle with their beautiful vaults, frescoes and beamed ceilings are privately owned and cannot be visited. But both buildings are also worth seeing from the outside and quietly whisper their story. 39


THE OLDEST WAY OF THE CROSS IN TYROL

©TV Toblach/J. Strobl

Emperor Maximilian was also responsible for building the Via Crucis in Dobbiaco in memory of the suffering during the war. This Way of Sorrows is considered to be the oldest Way of the Cross in Tyrol: it starts at the parish church of Dobbiaco and passes along Maximilianstrasse past five Passion Chapels. The route is exactly 1200 feet long, which corresponds to the famous Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. The endpoint of the Way of the Cross, also called Calvary, is the chapel of St. Joseph in Lerschach: the whitewashed round chapel was modelled after the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, also the last stop of the Way of the Cross there.

LIGHT FOR THE WINTER SOLSTICE

©TV Toblach/J. Strobl

A particularly mystical spectacle can be found in the Chapel of St. Peter am Kofl, the oldest religious sanctuary in the Hochpustertal valley, first mentioned historically in 1329. During the winter solstice on 21st and 22nd December, when the sun is at its lowest at noon, the sun's rays fall through the south-facing window exactly at 12 noon, and illuminate the altar. A reflection path with several stations, which starts at the pilgrimage Church of St. Mary’s in Santa Maria/Aufkirchen, leads to the small forest chapel. As early as the 14th century, people were making a pilgrimage to this church to give thanks or to ask for God's help. The chapel Frondeigen, in the small settlement of Stadlern above Dobbiaco, was presumably built as a request to be spared from the plague. The small chapel, also called "Altes Kirchl" (Old Small Church), was probably built as a "Peststöckl", a monument to memorise the severe plague epidemic which afflicted the region in 1564, and was then later expanded.

EMPERORS AND PRINCESSES IN THE GRAND HOTEL DOBBIACO

©A. Simonetti

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The Grand Hotel Dobbiaco narrates its story from the time when the Hochpustertal valley was a health resort for the European higher and money nobility. In 1878, the Austro-Hungarian Southern Railway Company, which had built the Southern Railway from Lienz to Fortezza/Franzensfeste, opened this hotel. Under its tenants and eventual owners, Ignaz and Elise Überbacher, it blossomed into a noble luxury refuge for kings, princes and princesses. One of Dobbiaco’s most prominent guests is the composer Gustav Mahler, who spent his summer vacations here from 1908 to 1910 – although not in the Grand Hotel Dobbiaco, but in the Trenkerhof Hotel in Carbonin Vecchia/Altschluderbach. In his Small Composing House, he created the Ninth Symphony, the unfinished Tenth Symphony and The Song of the Earth. These and other works are performed during the annual Gustav Mahler Music Weeks at the Grand Hotel Dobbiaco, which is used as a culture and congress centre nowadays and also houses the Drei Zinnen Nature Park Visitors’ Centre.


LOVE STORY IN HOUSE ENGLÖS

©TV Toblach

©Valcastello

A much more romantic story revolves around the house Englös in the village centre of Dobbiaco. It was the year 1304 when Count Albert II of Görz died at Bruck Castle near Lienz. His sons then decided to send their sister, Emerentiana, to a convent in far-off Italy. On the journey there, she was accompanied by the knight Balthasar von Welsberg. They fell in love, got engaged and returned home again. Emerentiana's family was outraged and called for a feud against Balthasar. The persecuted couple finally found shelter in a farmhouse in Dobbiaco. Then the provost of San Candido/ Innichen intervened and instead of a war ceremonially held a wedding. When knight Balthasar learned of the happy twist of his critical situation, he apparently expressed the joyous saying: "Angels in heaven, the danger is over!" Since then, the farmhouse bears the name Englös and was elevated to a noble seat.

NOBLE GUESTS IN THE KLAMMSCHLÖSSL AND IN THE VILLA GÜNTHER

Many a noble guest also lodged at the Klammschlössl in Dobbiaco, an elegant mansion surrounded by five hectares of forest and parkland. The charming building with its bay windows, stepped gables and turrets dates from the second half of the 19th century and was built on the ruins of an old castle. It is, however, Villa Günther, situated in Dobbiaco’s neighbourhood of Rienza/Rienz, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful historic villas in the Alps. It was built by Count Günther in 1910 as a hunting lodge for the Habsburg family. Two years earlier, the building was admired at the Vienna Expo – as a futuristic project for a prefabricated house. After the exhibition, it was transported by rail to Dobbiaco and set up at its current location. The prestigious hunting villa with its stylish interior served as a film location for many a director.

©H. Oberhofer

OLD COURT HOUSE IN VILLABASSA

Probably less likely to have visitors is the former courthouse in Villabassa. It was the court of the Counts of Gorizia, who ruled over the county of Tyrol from 1271 to 1500. The parlour dating back to the 16th century with its richly carved beam ceilings, a Latin inscription, the tiled stove and crucifix can currently be viewed in the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum in Innsbruck. The old court linden still stands on site: in the Middle Ages, village court or council meetings were often held under the protection of a tree. In addition to elms or oaks, linden trees were often planted as court trees, as they were attributed particularly diverse and magical qualities – and also because they grow tall, have dense foliage and a long life. And in all likelihood, this linden tree in front of the former courthouse would have a lot to relate ...

Doris Brunner (Author) 41


view

Hiking with a

ALWAYS HIGH AS THE SKY

It is often said that "the way is the goal", but for many

hikers and mountaineers, the summit is the main aim. Which includes the experience at the highest point of the summit: the breathtaking panorama. There are many views on the tours, but most people only have time to pause and take it in at the end. ŠDaniela Brugger

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ŠDrei Zinnen Marketing


©Daniela Brugger

©Daniela Brugger

THE WAY IS THE GOAL You have made it to the highest point of the tour and can absorb the stunning mountain cinema. But in the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites, the scenery is so extraordinary that you will want to enjoy it at every turn. The best way to experience this is on one of the many high-altitude trails, which continue for hours skirting along the top with magnificent views at various concurrent points along the line. "High-altitude trails are becoming increasingly popular, "says mountain guide Erwin Steiner from Braies/Prags,"many simply want to cross a specific mountain terrain, one that enhances the overall experience." Classics that are extremely popular are the Dolomite high-altitude trials 1 and 3, which cross the touristic holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites. However, the regional long-distance hiking trails such as the Hochpustertal highaltitude trail are off the beaten track. From Pragser Wildsee lake, the entertaining tour leads to Sesto-Moso/Sexten-Moos in a maximum of five stages. One of the highlights is the hike through the Rienztal valley to the Dreizinnenhütte refuge – the view of the north face of the Three Peaks mountain range is simply fascinating, besides the unique picture-postcard vista of the Pragser Wildsee lake or the scenic lookout of the Plätzwiese high plateau. "The beauty of these high-altitude trails is that you are in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage Site," enthuses Kathrin Tschurtschenthaler from the Dobbiaco/ Toblach Tourist Board, "and the pale mountains are almost within reach." But sometimes there is nothing wrong with a little distance. Because the most beautiful view of the Dolomites can be enjoyed from across the valley, from the ridge of the Villgrater mountains with the Toblacher Pfannhorn mountain as the highest peak. "Ten years ago, the area was still pretty quiet," remembers Tschurtschenthaler, "but in the meantime word has spread that it is

magnificent here." Instead of rugged rocky peaks you will find gentle, undulating summit shapes, with many pastures and now also several handsome cabins to stop off at: over and above the Bonner Hütte cabin, which opened in the summer of 2007 and the agriculturally farmed Steinbergalm hut. An additional cabin will be on offer as of September 2019, just a few metres below the summit of the Marchkinkele mountain. Albin Innerhofer, together with his brother Andreas, is converting the former barracks, which have been unused for years, into a friendly rest oasis with 40 beds, and is already looking forward to his time as a host. "The location is unique, as you can see the complete Pragser and Sextner Dolomites from the cabin, including the northern slopes of the Three Peaks," Innerhofer raves, "and on the other side, from the approximately 20 metre higher summit, the view extends to the main Alpine ridge." A dream, especially at sunset, when the lights are already burning down in the valley; and from the new sun deck you can enjoy the view of the Dolomite peaks glowing in the last evening light. Further benefits are: the easy accessibility – "beautiful trails lead to our mountain hut from all sides" – and of course its ideal positioning on the Dobbiaco high-altitude trail. It has quite simply been overlooked by many, even though the 2-day tour leads through a perfect hiking area. Meandering between the Marchkinkele, Toblacher Pfannhorn and Hochhorn mountains, you follow the border ridge and enjoy extraordinary views at every turn. And you can look forward to many cosy retreats along the way – a paradise for those who like to travel on secluded paths and therefor the best reinforcement of the thesis: hiking is not only about getting to the summit, but rather that the way is the goal. Stefan Herbke (Author) 43


With a lot of personal commitment, the Innerhofer brothers implemented their plan to create a refuge in the mountains. An ambitious project on the Marchkinkele mountain, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Hochpustertal valley.

The location could not be more breathtaking. Nestled only a few metres below the summit of the 2,545 m high Marchkinkele on the border ridge to the Villgratental valley with magnificent views of the Sextner and Pragser Dolomites on one side, and the other side revealing a panoramic view that extends all the way to the main Alpine crest, the lodge is south-facing and sheltered – basking in sunlight from morning to late at night and easily accessible from all directions. The brothers Albin and Andreas Innerhofer from the Tauferer Ahrntal valley, who are both passionate hikers and spend a large part of their free time in the mountains, did not have to think twice about realising their dream of a refuge in the mountains here on the Marchkinkele. It is by no means a new building, but rather the conversion of former barracks, often found along the border ridge to Tyrol. The ensemble of three buildings was built by Mussolini between the two world wars as part of a border defence system. However, nowadays it is hardly used, and only older citizens can still recall that in the 1960s sentries at the top of the Marchkinkele would check identity cards at the border crossing. In later years, the barracks were occupied by sheep before Italy handed them over to the South Tyrolean Provincial Government, who then put them on the market for sale.

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Albin and Andreas Innerhofer grabbed this opportunity to bid on the auction in 2015 – and were awarded the contract. "We have been toying with the idea of buying a property and developing it for some time," says Albin Innerhofer. He used to be a managing director and later on became an independent entrepreneur, before nurturing the idea to start something new. "For me it is a welcoming challenge to build this lodge and then also to manage it," says Innerhofer happily, "as here I have the opportunity to create something meaningful out of a disused structure that was designed for completely different purposes." The construction work began in the fall of 2018, with the Innerhofers doing as much as possible themselves to keep costs at a minimum. As an architect, Andreas sketched the plans, and Albin used his experience as a mason and carpenter, which he accumulated doing summer jobs, and helped out wherever possible. Even working through the winter, he made the majority of the furniture needed in his garage, which was converted into a workshop. However, the prerequisite for the conversion was that they had to make use of the existing building materials. "We had to keep the floor plan on the ground floor. Nevertheless, we were able to realize our goal of a decent cabin with 40 beds and a lounge with 54 seats quite well," says


The location could not be more breathtaking. Albin Innerhofer contentedly, "we had a relatively large margin to play with". They were able to cut the 4 metre high dividing walls and set the first floor on the now 2.5 metre high ground floor using a wooden frame construction, and here the layout was free from any constraints. They put up the kitchen, lounges and winter room in the western building. The upper floor of the middle, much smaller building serves as accommodation for the staff. On the ground floor there is space for a warehouse as well as the technology for the power supply; and solar panels are mounted on the roof. In the third house are the dormitories – "we planned these quite comfortably with quadruple rooms and bunk beds, separate washrooms and shower" – as well as a water storage tank with domestic waterworks. Due to the beautiful weather, construction progressed rapidly last autumn. The Innerhofers could already finish the wood construction on two of the buildings. However, there was a key moment at the end of October. "The wooden construction with the roof was not quite finished yet," Albin Innerhofer recalls the moment when a strong storm hit, destroying entire forests in many parts of South Tyrol. "We were afraid that the roof could now be lying in the Villgraten valley, but fortunately everything was undamaged." He still remembers the relief they felt and proudly says: "We seem to have built well." As soon as the snow has melted, the work on the mountain will continue. "We want to start with the first two buildings in September ©Drei Zinnen Marketing

2019," hopes Albin Innerhofer, "and then finish the third house with the dormitories." Albin Innerhofer is already looking forward to his future as a host. "We firmly stand by the fact that enough people will visit the cabin." The demand is definitely in our favour, as the Marchkinkele summit is an excellent viewpoint and the hiking trails are easily accessible on all sides, additionally the enjoyable Dobbiaco high-altitude trail passes the lodge and the former military road is a popular destination for mountain bikers. Maybe the guests will feel like Albin Innerhofer at his first encounter with the Marchkinkele summit. "I immediately fell in love with the place," recalls the 52-year-old, "when I'm up here, I can switch off and I'm in another world." However, prior to their opening they still need to resolve one problem. "Unfortunately, we do not have a name for the lodge yet", Albin Innerhofer admits, "I researched the names of all the estates in the area, but none of them seemed to suit the lodge. Hence, the name will probably be 'Marchhütte'. 'March' is in the mountain’s name and means border – so it would make sense."

“ I immediately fell in love with the place ” Stefan Herbke (Author) ©Daniela Brugger

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Giants, reindeer and rapid toboggan runs Even though the Haunold, Helm and Rotwand mountains may not be as high and distinctive as the Three Peaks mountain range, they are still very popular. This is due to the great variety of entertaining leisure activities for both children and adults, as well as the extraordinary personalities and imaginative stories the mountains have in store for you. Georg Weindl (Author)

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ŠM. Kottersteger


©M. Kottersteger

The Olperl was a very special character. During the day, it would hide up in the mountain forest and at night, when the people down in the valley were asleep, it would fool around and play funny pranks on them. Because of its lively, animated manner, the locals called him "Springgingl". And as is most befitting for a mythical figure, it continues to live on today. Olperl’s mountain world at the top of the Helm mountain is the new adventure park situated right next to the mountain station. It features a 1.5 km loop path, which offers much more than just beautiful views: on the way there are ten different stations dedicated to the animals of the mountains, with sev-

©M. Kottersteger

speed of 10 m per second, exciting twists and turns and a maximum gradient of 40 percent down towards the valley. There is no risk of boredom on the Haunold. In the summer months, between mid-July and the end of August, there are numerous children’s festivals lined up – and parents can look forward to chilling carefree in the relaxation area on the mountain while their children have fun.

eral sections requiring visitors to use their balancing skills while walking barefoot over stones, wooden planks and delightfully soft mossy ground. It makes perfect sense that the circular route takes you back to the mountain station. After all, young explorers walking on Olperl’s tracks will eventually become hungry and thirsty. The loop path is not just great for children. It is exciting for guests of all ages, as you experience and, above all, feel a somewhat different way of walking – with more awareness and a conscious connection with nature. And it is complimentary for anyone wanting to experience this route.

But let us remain on the mountain for a moment. The Rotwand mountain is another highly popular family destination of the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites. Within minutes, the guests are lifted up from Bad Moos to the mountain station where they meet unusual local characters: Mika and Kelly, Amy and Lotta are members of a reindeer family that has acquired quite a bit of fame and has become resident at an altitude of 2,000 m. It is, by the way, the last herd of reindeer in the Alps. These four and their family members are very relaxed when the visitors excitedly watch them being fed twice a week at 2 the afternoon. The lunch menu consists of Iceland moss and “reindeer candy” made from a mixture of cereals. In the summer, there are public feedings every Monday and Thursday.

In the holiday region 3 Zinnen Dolomites, each mountain has its own character and special qualities. The same applies for its neighbour, the Haunold mountain. According to the legend, San Candido’s/ Innichen’s landmark mountain was home to the giant Haunold. He was the son of a Roman army captain who drank from a magic source, which turned him into a giant who wreaked havoc on the mountain. Of course, while there are no giants nowadays, you will find the realm of giant Haunold high up near the mountain station. And it has a lot to offer, including a tubing track near the Riese Haunold Hütte refuge, a children climbing parcourse, where up-and-coming alpinists up to the age of eight years can compete on two climbing parcourses at a height of 1.50 m and the new Dwarf Village with tree houses and rope bridges. The special highlight being the fun bob: Italy’s first summer toboggan run with a maximum

Speaking of animals: in former times, bulls would spend the summer on the flat grassy plains of the Sextner pastures, between Rotwand and Helm. This is why the area was called Stiergarten, garden of the bulls. Although you no longer meet bulls there, you will see cows and horses when hiking along the picturesque, comfortable, pram-friendly trails from one pasture to the next at an altitude of 2,000 m, whilst enjoying stunning views over the Dreischusterspitze mountain as well as the Sextner Dolomites and Three Peaks mountain ranges – with a Marende, a traditional South Tyrolean snack, to look forward to at the Klammbachalm or Nemes Alm pastures. A perfect outing for the entire family, also because you can choose to take the cable car up the steep slope allowing you to fully concentrate on the panoramic route further up the mountain. 47


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Almanac summer 2019  

Almanac summer 2019