Val Gardena

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
View of Val Gardena from the northwest
Homestead in Selva (in the background the Stevia and the Mont de Seura ), painting by Gustav Jahn

Val Gardena , also called Val Gardena , Grödner Tal or Grödnertal ( Ladin : Gherdëina ? / I ; Italian : Val Gardena ), is a Dolomite valley in South Tyrol ( Italy ). Together with the Gader- and the Fassatal , Buchstein ( Fodom ) and Cortina ( Anpezo ) it belongs to the Ladin language area, and is accordingly Ladinien counted. Audio file / audio sample


"Little love scene" - motif from the Val Gardena, around 1895


The 25-km long tributary of the Eisacktal starts at Ponte Gardena and leads east up to the Sella or to the passes Sella and Gardena Pass , which connect at the Sella massif on the southern and eastern side. Val Gardena is traversed by the Grödner Bach (or Derjon or Dirschingbach), with a length of about 26 km and a catchment area of 199 km² after the Rienz, the most important tributary of the Eisack .

The settlement areas and localities of the lower Val Gardena belong to the German-speaking municipality of Laion . The actual Val Gardena in the linguistic and cultural sense does not begin until approx. 9 km into the valley after the valley of Pontives , called Porta Ladina with the area of ​​the predominantly Ladin-speaking communities Val Gardena Ortisei (Ladin Urtijëi ), St. Christina (Ladin Santa Cristina ) and Selva (Ladin Sëlva ). The fractions opposite Ortisei on the northern slopes of the Alpe di Siusi are also Ladin-speaking, but have been part of the municipality of Castelrotto as a former court seat since ancient times . There are Runggaditsch ( Runcadic ), Überwasser ( Sureghes ) and Bulla ( Bula ), which form a separate church parish.

Parts of the north-facing valley flanks are protected in the Puez-Geisler Nature Park .


The villages in the lower, German-speaking part of the Val Gardena belonging to Laion include St. Peter , Tanirz and Tschöfas .

The three Ladin-speaking communities in the interior of the valley have around 10,000 inhabitants, divided into Ortisei ( Urtijëi ) with 5635, St. Christina ( S. Cristina ) with 1900 and Selva ( Sëlva ) with 2570 inhabitants. Fractions or hamlets are St. Jakob ( Sacun ) in Ortisei, Soplajes in St. Christina, Pozza ( La Poza ) and Plan in Selva. The left side of the valley up to the Jenderbach with the fractions Bulla ( Bula ), Runggaditsch ( Runcadic ), Überwasser ( Sureghes ) and Seiser Alm ( Mont Sëuc ) is part of the municipality of Castelrotto ( Ćiastel ).


Official UNESCO platform on the Mastlé -Alm under the Geisler peaks in Val Gardena

Val Gardena is surrounded by a multitude of alpine pastures and mountains. The Val Gardena Dolomites are the Geisler Group , the Puez Group , the Sella Group and the Langkofel Group . "These four groups as the most diverse, the entire Dolomites malerischesten be called. With the exception of the Sassolungo and the Boèspitze of force behind the Sesto Dolomites , the Marmolada and Pala standing back, but surpass them and are in conflict, Vieltürmigkeit and bold rock shapes popular Goals of the Dolomite climbers ".

In the north, the Val Gardena Dolomites are divided into Rasciesa ( 2317  m slm ) and Seceda ( 2519  m ), the Pitsch Mountain ( 2363  m ), the Odle ( 3025  m ), the stevia ( 2555  m ), the Col dala Pieres ( 2747  m ) and the Puez peaks ( 2918  m ).

To the east are the Cir ( 2592  m ), the Gardena Pass , the Sella group with the Boèspitze ( 3152  m ) and the Passo Sella .

In the south lie the Langkofel group (highest summit of the Langkofel with 3181  m ), the Ciampinoialm , the Monte Pana , the Seiser Alm with Puflatsch and behind that the Schlern group with the Rosszähnen ( 2653  m ), the Roterdspitze ( 2655  m ) and the Schlern ( 2564  m ) and the Schlern area to the west .

Geology of Val Gardena

Val Gardena is part of the Southern Limestone Alps . The structure is similar to the geology of the Bletterbach .

Carboniferous geological period

Permian geological period

The legendary glacier Lech dl Dragon on the Meisulesplateau in Sella

Jurassic geological period

Geological period chalk


There are some small mountain lakes in Val Gardena, most of them at an altitude of over 2000 m. The Lech dl Dragon (2680 m) on the Sella Group , the lake Lech de Crespëina (2380 m) in the Puez area , the lakes Lech Sant (2096 m), Lech da Iman (2208 m), Lech da Rijeda (2135 m) and Lech dla Scaies (2050) on the Mastlè Alm , and Lech Lagustel (1826 m) below the Pitschberg .

Forest stand

The Gardena Forest consists almost entirely of conifers . Mainly grow on the southern slopes of the valley spruce and larch , on the Raschötzer porphyry plate pines as pioneer plants and in the altitude of 1700 m almost exclusively stone pine and mountain pine .



Not much is known about the prehistoric times in the Dolomites. Some finds indicate an early settlement of the area, but in general one can only make assumptions about the more precise forms of life. A find in Val Gardena made archaeologists sit up and take notice years ago: prehistoric artefacts were discovered during excavations at the Abri Plan de Frea . Archaeologists dated these finds to 6000 years before the birth of Christ. The arrowheads, needles and other devices are proven to be the oldest prehistoric finds in the entire Dolomite region. Probably the assumption is correct that hunters were looking for temporary accommodation on their forays under the huge boulder at Plan de Frea (below the Passo Gardena) - at least in the summer months. There was probably no permanent settlement of the place in the winter months. The second oldest finds come from the La Tène period . At the Col de Flam near St. Ulrich bronze brooches, jewelry, iron axes, Gallic long swords and primitive peasant devices were found. 400 BC Ch. There should have been such objects.

The first document about Val Gardena dates from the years 993 / 94-1005: In a traditional note of the Bishopric of Freising , the Bavarian Count Otto transferred from the House of Rapotonen Bishop Gottschalk of Freising , among others, "ad Gredine forestum" (forest area in Val Gardena).

Church history

In 1027, Val Gardena came under the rule of the Bishop of Brixen or his bailiffs , first the Count of Andechs and then the Count of Tyrol . Originally, Val Gardena was looked after by the church from Albeins , in the 12th century the care was transferred to the parish of Laion . In 1342 a small Ulrich church was mentioned in a document. In 1418 the first curate was established in Val Gardena in St. Christina and had its first pastor. In 1655 a curate was set up in Ortisei and in 1735 a benefice was established in Selva . The left side of the valley depended on Castelrotto for pastoral care until a curate was established in Bulla in 1637. In 1778 the Überwasser fraction was assigned to the St. Ulrich Curate. Ortisei was only raised to a parish in 1902, making Val Gardena no longer dependent on Laion.

Tyrol 1809

Val Gardena costumes in a sketch by Josef Moroder Lusenberg

In the course of the Tyrolean revolt of 1809 , around 1200 men under the leadership of the Napoleonic general Luis Peyri marched through Val Gardena between November 2nd and 4th, 1809. The French battalions were initially stationed in Plan near Wolkenstein and then at Antoniboden in Ortisei, where, according to Josef Moroder-Lusenberg, they ate a slaughtered bull over a campfire. According to the same report, Andreas Moroder, head of Ortisei, storm commander of the Grödner Schützen , merchant and grandfather of the painter, rode towards the soldiers in Selva. Wearing an elegant Spanish suit and carrying a white flag, he wanted to appease the French by assuring them safe passage through the valley. However, he was captured and taken hostage to Mühlbach in the Puster Valley. As a result, he survived the battle that took place on November 4, 1809 between the Lajener Ried and the Starzerbrücke near Waidbruck and in which around 400 French soldiers were killed by the Tyrolean freedom fighters.

The Val Gardena riflemen took part in numerous battles in 1809, but due to the small number of Val Gardena fallen it can be assumed that the delegations of the valley did not have large crews, as many young Val Gardena people abroad (Italy, France and Spain) in the more than 300 trading stations Were active in Val Gardena. Even in Val Gardena itself, the French soldiers did not have to face any resistance worth mentioning when they passed through.

In a resolution at the end of 1809, the Selva court expressed the wish to remain united with Deutschtirol, the then Kingdom of Bavaria . In the treaty on July 7, 1810, the southern part of Tyrol was ceded to Italy and Illyria . The border ran along the main ridges of the Langkofel and Schlern groups .

The floods in Val Gardena

In late summer and again in autumn 1882, South Tyrol and Val Gardena were hit by a flood disaster. There were a dozen dead, a landslide in Selva, the destruction of many houses, grain mills and forest areas. The destruction of numerous wood turning shops and the valley road caused serious damage to the flourishing wood industry in Val Gardena. The provisional restoration of the Grödnerstrasse could only be reported on January 4th, 1883. Only 2 bridges remained in the entire valley and 19 had to be rebuilt. Friedrich Borgfeldt, a North German parish bailiff who moved to Merano in 1875 , started a successful fundraising campaign in Schleswig-Holstein and was able to distribute several thousand guilders to those in need in Val Gardena. As a token of gratitude, he received six painted wooden statues depicting the Val Gardena traditional costume by the painter and sculptor Josef Moroder Lusenberg from the communities of Val Gardena .

Commercial activities and domestic industry

The Tyrolean land rhyme testified that the Val Gardena Loden was known as early as 1558: Layener wheat ... and Val Gardena stiff wheat, fruit and wine could not be grown because of the altitude in Val Gardena, so the people of Val Gardena have always had to look for additional sources of income besides farming and livestock care. Wooden bowl turning seems to have been more important in the 16th and 17th centuries (larger bowls were turned in the forest). From the 17th century, lace was an important branch of activity. The expression Ji cun l puntl comes from this time, tracing back to the custom that women gathered for lace making and for talks. The lace making came to a quick end in Val Gardena around 1830/1840, when the production of wooden toys and small sculptures spread in every family and became an important source of income for the Val Gardena economy. Up to a million wooden dolls were produced in Val Gardena every year.


Humpback in Val Gardena with a load of carved wooden horses

At the end of the 17th century the peddler trade spread among the people of Val Gardena, especially Val Gardena , probably to sell the goods they produced themselves. Already at the end of the 18th century the trade relations of the people of Val Gardena extended far beyond Tyrol. Commercial branches were set up in many cities in Europe and many people from Val Gardena also acted as brokers and money changers such as B. the Perathoner family in Florence. A member of this family, Gian Domenico Bruno Perathoner, donated an alabaster Madonna by Luigi Colli to the parish church of Ortisei in 1807, which is exhibited in the Val Gardena Museum. At the beginning of the 19th century, Val Gardena had more than 400 branches in Europe, including Russia, as far as Alexandria in Egypt and North America. Around 1800 around two thirds of the people of Val Gardena were traveling abroad. A new defense law, which prevented the long absence of men from the valley, and the improvement of traffic, among other things through the creation of the railways, promoted the publishing system , whereby this sales network gradually dissolved.

In 1856 a passable road ( Grödner Straße ) was built into the valley.

The valley was used by the Val Gardena Railway from 1916 until it was closed in 1960.

Val Gardena family name

The most common family names are: Senoner , Demetz , Perathoner , Runggaldier , Insam , Mussner , Moroder , Kostner , Prinoth , Stuffer , Comploi , Bernardi , Kasslatter , Ploner , Vinatzer , Hofer , Rabanser , Schenk , Pitscheider , Malsiner , Lardschneider , Pitschieler , Delago , Sotriffer .

Language and ethnicity

In the outer ("lower") Val Gardena from Waidbruck in the Eisack Valley to the bottom of Pontives at an altitude of 1200 m, German is spoken by the majority. Laion , for example, has a proportion of Ladin speakers of just under 6%; around 4% speak Italian as their first language. Behind the gorge of Porta Ladina which dominates the main communities Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva Gardena pass up on the addition Ladin . In addition to their mother tongue, the people of Val Gardena also speak German and Italian. For the Ladin and the Val Gardena folklore, u. a. Tresl Gruber , Franz Prugger, Bruno Moroder, Amalia Obletter, Frieda Piazza, Christian Moroder, Max Tosi and Alex Moroder .

The Val Gardena costumes are well known and are still popularly worn on special, mostly church occasions. See here .

Val Gardena is rich in legends, some of which were processed by Karl Felix Wolff in the Dolomite legends (see also here). However, many legends have not been published or written down.


Section of the Saslong in Val Gardena


The most important branch of the economy is tourism , especially tourism for winter sports .

Wood carving from Val Gardena

Especially in Ortisei, wood carving with the creation of wooden statues, wooden figures and church furnishings and once wooden toys is an important industry.

The art of wood carving in Val Gardena originated in the early 17th century with the artist families Trebinger and Vinazer , whose members received their training especially in the Eisack Valley, in Brixen with Adam Baldauf and perhaps Hans Reichle , but also in Venice and Rome. Already in the 18th century more than forty wood carvers were active all over Val Gardena. The sacred art of wood carving achieved a particular boom in Val Gardena through the establishment of the drawing school in Ortisei. The training of wood carvers from Val Gardena at the art academies in Munich and Vienna established Val Gardena's leading position in the art of sacred wood carving. Toys and church furnishings, mainly made of wood, could be exported more easily and quickly from Val Gardena via the Grödner Straße in 1856 and the Brenner Railway , which connected Verona in 1859 and Innsbruck in 1867 . Most of the wood carvings in Val Gardena are made of Swiss stone pine .

Worth seeing

Parish church of the municipality of St. Christina in Val Gardena
Door of the mountain chapel of Monte Pana in S. Cristina in Val Gardena
Mountain chapel of Monte Pana in S. Cristina in Val Gardena


  • Museum Val Gardena : The 'Museum Val Gardena' in the Cësa di Ladins in Ortisei has a rich collection of Val Gardena wood carvings from the 17th to the 20th century. In addition, old Val Gardena wooden toys , fossils and minerals from the Dolomites , a collection of archaeological finds from the Val Gardena area from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages to the Roman era and over 30 works by the Val Gardena painter Josef Moroder Lusenberg are shown.
    • The red chalk drawings on late medieval paneling are unique in the Alpine region
    • the baroque Lenten veil of St. Jakob.
    • The museum is also known for the estate of the Val Gardena film producer, mountaineer and architect Luis Trenker .


The parish churches in Val Gardena show many examples of good wood carving art.


There are three castles in Val Gardena:



The skiing was introduced in Val Gardena in the late 19th century. See an article by Emil Terschak here . In addition to popular sports in Val Gardena , there is a men's downhill and super-G world cup race on the Saslong , a ski slope from Ciampinoi to Ruacia (municipality of Selva ) . The 1970 Alpine World Ski Championships were also held in Val Gardena . Val Gardena is also located on the Sellaronda , a ski tour around the Sella massif. It is also part of the Dolomiti Superski ski area .

Since the summer of 2007, cross-country skiers have been able to use several trails on Monte Pana, as well as two ski jumps in the municipality of St. Christina .

Even the sport of ice hockey has in Val Gardena tradition and developed over the years a popular sport par excellence. The Val Gardena team ( HC Gherdëina ), which played their home games in the ice rink in Ortisei , was one of the best teams in Italy for years . The HC Gherdëina was four times Italian ice hockey champion. After the stadium collapsed in 1998, caused by a landslide, the team was reunited with the HC Selva club and relocated to Selva , where they still play today, but no longer at the level of the old days. This club is still called HC Gherdëina after the merger of the two clubs and plays in the A2 series.

In summer, hiking , mountain biking and mountaineering are the main activities in Val Gardena .

Via ferratas

Many via ferratas in the surrounding mountains are easily accessible from Val Gardena :

Geologist's path

A hiking trail ( geotrail ) in the Val Gardena Dolomites between the Panider Sattel and Bulla makes it possible to experience the history of the development of the Dolomites (with the help of eight display boards in four languages).

Personalities of Val Gardena

Wood carving from Val Gardena: Martin Vinazer , figure of Christ in half relief, signed MVF 1727,
Marterl in Ortisei: illustration of an accident at
work while carrying wood in 1874, testimony to the hard work of mountain farmers in Val Gardena at that time
Last rural idyll in Val Gardena: the Peza farm in Ortisei






See also

Panoramic photo

Panorama in Val Gardena , more precisely St. Christina with Langkofel and the Saslong World Cup
slope in the background


  • Fritz Benesch : Mountain trips in the Val Gardena Dolomites. Bruckmann, Munich 1899, OCLC 236093251 .
  • Wilhelm Moroder-Lusenberg: The market town of Ortisei in Val Gardena. Self-published, Innsbruck 1908; Reprint on the occasion of the commemorative year “1000 Years of Val Gardena” (= Schlern, Volume 73,9), Athesia, Bozen 1999, OCLC 888907635 .
  • Franz Moroder : The Val Gardena . 2nd Edition. Edited by the Val Gardena Section of the German and Austrian Alpine Club. Ortisei in Val Gardena 1914.
  • Wilhelm Lutz : Val Gardena: landscape, settlement and economy of a Dolomite high valley (= Tyrolean economic studies , volume 21). Wagner, Innsbruck 1966, DNB 457475374 .
  • Edgar Moroder: The Moroder, an old Ladin family from Val Gardena-Dolomites from the 14th to the 20th century. Origin - History - Biographies - Appendix. Contribution to Tyrolean family research. Self-published, Ortisei in Val Gardena 1980, DNB 550660534 .
  • Marina Demetz: peddler trade, house industry and applied arts in Val Gardena from the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century. Wagner, Innsbruck 1987, ISBN 3-7030-0186-0 (dissertation University of Innsbruck 1984, 253 pages).
  • Edgar Moroder, Bruno Flaim: Val Gardena in the Dolomites. Manfrini, Calliano 1991, ISBN 88-7024-435-0 .
  • Helmut Stampfer (Ed.): Farms in South Tyrol. Volume 7: Val Gardena . Athesia, Bozen 2010, ISBN 978-88-8266-627-9 .
  • Barbara Lanz, Sonja Mitterer: Farm map Val Gardena . Museum Gherdëina, Ortisei in Val Gardena 2014, ISBN 978-88-909015-0-8 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Julius Gallhuber (edited by): Dolomites. A guide through the valleys, places and mountains of the entire Dolomites, III. Band Western Dolomites. Artaria, Vienna 1929. p. 17.
  2. Geological excursion into the Dolomites ( Memento of the original from June 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Gianluca Cotz; Geological and geotechnical conditions of mass movements near Pontives (Grödnertal, South Tyrol) . University of Vienna Diploma thesis 2009 (PDF; 11.0 MB)
  4. Maria Ogilvie Gordon, Julius P ia; On the geology of the Langkofel group in the South Tyrolean Dolomites . (PDF; 7.4 MB)
  5. Georg Mutschlechner; Geology of the Sassolungo Group . Yearbook of the Geot. Federal Agency 1935. (PDF; 2.5 MB)
  6. CM (Christian Moroder): Nosc lec. Calënder de Gherdëina 1978, Union di Ladins de Gherdëina, St. Ulrich 1977, p. 93.
  7. ^ Reimo Lunz: Archaeological forays through South Tyrol. Bozen: Athesia 2004, ISBN 88-8266-258-6 , p. 330.
  8. Martin Bitschnau , Hannes Obermair : Tiroler Urkundenbuch, II. Department: The documents on the history of the Inn, Eisack and Pustertal valleys. Vol. 1: Up to the year 1140 . Universitätsverlag Wagner, Innsbruck 2009, ISBN 978-3-7030-0469-8 , p. 135-137, No. 170 .
  9. ^ Karl Wolfsgruber : The pastoral care in the Ladin valleys. In: Ladinia. Country and people in the Dolomites . Südtiroler Kulturinstitut , Bozen 1963/1964 pp. 440–467.
  10. ^ Josef Steiner: The collector for history and statistics of Tyrol . Innsbruck: Wagner 1807 - accessed on January 10, 2011.
  11. ^ Edgar Moroder: Tirol 1809 in Ladinien, especially in Val Gardena. A contribution to the Tyrolean commemorative year 2009 from Ladinia. Ortisei in Val Gardena: self-published 2009.
  12. ^ Calendar Ladin per year 1915. Liber per la familia ladina. Innsbruck: Child friend 1915
  13. ^ Catarina Perathoner (Tina de Val): Dla gran eghes de l'an 1882. (4 episodes) Nos Ladins, November 1, November 15 and December 15, 1956, January 1, 1957 (Ladin).
  14. L'an dal'eghes 1882 te Gherdeina. Coche anda Madalena Linder de Fujeron y anda Catarina Perathoner de Val à scrit de chësc . Calënder de Gherdëina 1959, Union di Ladins de Gherdëina 1958. pp. 46-49.
  15. ^ A b Hans H. Reimer: Grödner Thanks for North German donations. Friedrich Borgfeldt and the flood disaster in South Tyrol in 1882. Der Schlern , 85th year, issue 2, 2011, pp. 4–23.
  16. Tiroler Landreim - accessed on January 9, 2011.
  17. Tirolerland rhyme line 719 - accessed on January 9, 2011th
  18. a b Rita Stablein, Robert Moroder: Old wooden toys from Groden. The development of a home industry . Athesia 1980 ISBN 88-7014-176-4 .
  19. ^ Sieglinde Strickner: Last names in South Tyrol 2004. Autonomous Province of Bozen-South Tyrol, State Institute for Statistics - ASTAT Bozen 2005
  20. Ladin World of Legends - accessed on January 9, 2011.
  21. Geologensteig auf Bulla - accessed on July 23, 2011 ( Memento of the original from July 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Web links

Commons : Val Gardena  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Val Gardena  - travel guide

Coordinates: 46 ° 34 '  N , 11 ° 42'  E