View from the Jaufenpass towards Sterzing
|Watershed||Innergrabenbach → Ratschinger Bach → Ridnauner Bach → Eisack → Etsch||Jaufenbach → Waltner Bach → Passer → Etsch|
|Valley locations||Sterzing||St. Leonhard in Passeier|
|expansion||Strada Statale 44 del Passo di Giovo|
|Mountains||Sarntal Alps / Stubai Alps|
|Denzel scale||SG 2-3|
The Jaufenpass or simply Jaufen ( Italian Passo di Monte Giovo ) is a mountain pass in South Tyrol ( Italy ). At an altitude of the Waltental with the Ratschingstal and the spacious Passeier with the Wipptal . The Jaufental, which runs parallel to the Ratschingstal, also ends at the top of the pass . The road connecting the pass, Strada Statale 44 del Passo di Giovo , is very winding and has 20 hairpin bends.
The Jaufenpass is the most northerly passable inner-Italian alpine pass for motor traffic and the shortest connection between Merano and Sterzing . It connects the Sarntal Alps in the east with the Stubai Alps in the west. The pass is dominated by the Jaufenspitze ( ) and the Saxner ( ).
In view of the importance of this connection, the Jaufenpass received its road relatively late, namely shortly before the beginning of the First World War . Until then, the old and steep mule track was used for pass traffic . Unlike today's road, this ran a little further west, but the road also uses the old route in part, in that it also does not climb through the Jaufental to the pass, but rather leads over a ridge between Jaufental and Ratschingstal called Jaufenwald . In contrast to the steep ascent from the Jaufental, this route enabled a relatively easy ascent, which is also evident on the motorway in that significantly fewer hairpin bends and bridges are necessary on the north ramp than on the south ramp.
The Jaufen was probably already very active by hunters in the Stone Age ; Finds made on a wide ridge between today's road and the old Jaufenweg are evidence of this. Even later, the transition was not forgotten and the connection was still used - as was the case in the Bronze Age , as the discovery of a hatchet in the Jaufental from this time shows.
The old path was expanded by the Romans early on, presumably again extensively shortly after the year 200. At that time, the Brennerstrasse was expanded as a passable route ( Via Raetia ); However, as the expansion of the road through the Eisack Gorge was delayed, the mule track over the Jaufen was built as a replacement. This was partly already paved, but only accessible by two-wheeled carts. With the opening of the road through the Eisack Gorge , the Jaufen was soon no longer used so actively.
- Steffan Bruns: Alpine passes - history of the alpine pass crossings. From the Inn to Lake Garda . 1st edition. tape 3 . L. Staackmann Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-88675-273-7 , p. 83 .
- Egon Kühebacher : The place names of South Tyrol and their history. The historically grown names of the communities, parliamentary groups and hamlets. Athesia, Bozen 1991, ISBN 88-7014-634-0 , p. 170.