Val Pusteria

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The Pustertal near Bruneck

The Pustertal ( Italian Val Pusteria , Ladin Val de Puster ) is an alpine valley that runs essentially in an east-west direction . Most of the valley is in South Tyrol ( Italy ), the easternmost section in East Tyrol ( Austria ). The Pustertal does not form a hydrogeographical unit: the western half of the valley is drained from the Rienza and further over the river system of the Etsch to the Adriatic , the eastern half from the Drava and further over the river system of the Danube to the Black Sea . The Toblacher Feld roughly in the middle of the valley is the valley watershed .

Often only the South Tyrolean part of the valley is understood by Pustertal . The local communities together with those of several side valleys form the Pustertal district community .

Geological-geographical description

The Pustertal, also called the "valleys", is essentially a part of the " Periadriatic Seam -called" warping , the Südalpen of the central Alps (and usually also the Limestone from the central gneiss massive and slate mountains separated). Half of it drains through the Rienza to the west (and further over Eisack and Etsch into the Adriatic Sea), the other half through the Drau to the east (and further over the Danube into the Black Sea). The watershed lies in the flat valley floor on the Toblacher Feld near Toblach . Either the Mühlbacher Klause or the Brixner valley basin, where the Pustertal joins the Eisack valley, is seen as the western border of the Puster Valley . The eastern part is also known as the " Hochpustertal ". To the east of Sillian , the Pustertal leaves the Periadriatic Line (which crosses over to the Gailtal ) and descends east-northeast to Lienz . The Lienzer Klause is considered to be the eastern boundary of the Puster Valley.

The villages in the valley are located at an altitude of 750 to 1180 m, the most important of which are Toblach, Monguelfo , Olang and Bruneck in the western Puster Valley and San Candido and Sillian in the eastern Puster Valley .

The largest side valleys are on the north side from west to east Vals , Pfunders , Taufers , Wielenbach , Antholz , Gsies , the Silvestertal and Villgraten . On the south side from west to east are the Gadertal , Braies , the Höhlensteintal , Sexten and the Gailtal .


Ignaz Paprion was the first to derive the name Pustertal from the Slavic word “pust” (barren, barren). Historians such as Josef von Hormayr and the Slavist Franz Miklosich later followed this view . Karl Finsterwalder, however, led the name back to a Celtic personal name, namely Busturus, possibly a tribal prince of the Saevaten ; the place name Vintl is also of Celtic origin. Also Heinz Dieter Pohl states that the name can not be derived from the Slavic, because the Slavs had never been so far ventured to the west (the western boundary of the Slavic area was the Lienz Klause). The name Pustrissa or Pustrussa (attested as such in 974) comes from Celtic substratum, like Innichen (area of ​​the Indius). The ending -issa is usually added to personal names in Celtic toponyms to denote a location that belongs to the person (e.g. Vindonissa = place of a Vindonos, Katsch from Katissa = place of a Katos). Pustrissa should be interpreted as derived from the Celtic personal name Busturus (in Noricum Busturus and in Pannonia Busturo) ( pagus Pustrissa = Gau des Busturus).


Before the warlike conquest of land by the Romans, Celts (tribe of the Saevaten ) and a smaller number of Raetians lived in the valley . The Pustertal was part of the Celtic kingdom of Noricum . The valley must have been sparsely populated. Between Olang and Rasen there was a settlement near the Windschnur burial ground . The Celtic oppidum sebatum stood at today's St. Lorenzen . The Roman conquest took place in 15 BC. In the course of the Augustan Alpine campaigns . They built a road through the valley, some of which is still detectable today. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Bavarians settled there . The Toblacher Feld , the highest area of ​​the Puster Valley, was the scene of the first clashes between the Bavarians under Duke Tassilo I , who wanted to expand to the southeast, and the Alpine Slavs , who planned to do the same in the opposite direction, but were prevented from doing so, between 590 and 600 .

In the Pustertal and its side valleys (except Gadertal ), due to the relatively early Germanic settlement, most of the names of farms , fields and places of German origin in South Tyrol can be found. Due to the lack of row graves , it is assumed that there was a large Bavarian settlement between 700 and 750 AD. 769 initiated Duke Tassilo III. the foundation of the San Candido monastery for the mission of the Slavs. Some time later (783) this part of the Hochpustertal belongs to the Hochstift Freising (until 1803).

The Sieghardinger Engelbert IV. Is known as one of the owners of the Gaugrafschaft Pustertal . By marrying his daughter Richardis von Lavant, Siegfried I von Spanheim († 1065) came into the possession of the county. Siegfried's son Engelbert I was removed from the county in the course of the investiture dispute in 1091 and the bishops of Brixen were entrusted with the county, which ranged from the Mühlbacher to the Lienzer Klause , through an imperial donation .

Otto von Andechs , Bishop of Brixen, enfeoffed his brother Berthold III in 1165 . with the counties Puster- and Norital . When the Andechs died out in 1248, the Counts of Tyrol came into the possession of the County of Pustertal.

In 1253 the Tyrolean line died out, and Meinhard I , son-in-law of the last Count of Tyrol Albert III. , inherited the Pustertal, among others. After his death in 1258, his sons Meinhard II and Albert shared the common territory in 1271, whereby Albert fell to the Pustertal. In 1500 the Meinhardin family died out. According to the inheritance contract, Maximilian I von Habsburg took over the rule of the area, which was now united with the rest of the County of Tyrol .

The current border between Italy and Austria in the Pustertal was only created as a result of the First World War when the Treaty of Saint-Germain came into force in 1920. Although initially a border was planned over the line of the watershed (i.e. across the Toblacher Feld ), Italy received with Innichen and Sexten also areas east of it. Since then, the state border runs at a narrow point in the valley between Winnebach and Sillian .


Basically the Puster dialect is a South Bavarian dialect . Particularly for the core zone between Bruneck and Monguelfo there are some distinctive characteristics such as:

Characteristic dialect default annotation
Schwa-Laut [ə] in the syllable coda

is always realized

Sunn e ,

triab e ,

Bish e ent e ?



Are you over there

Sometimes even where standard German has none, e.g. E.g. schian e (beautiful), full e (full / very).

If there was a Schwa sound as a coda in Middle High German , this is still implemented today,

z. E.g. with e gian (go along, mhd. Mite-gân ), Maur e (wall, mhd. Mūre )

[uː] is replaced by a

added [ɪ] stretched

g ui t

B ui

vos ui chn



to attempt

Typical Pusterer characteristic. East of Welsberg and west of Vintl instead of ui more and more.

In the Antholzertal sometimes even ue (g ue t).

The infinitive morpheme becomes

not realized after nasal and lateral sounds







It is realized according to other sounds:

ho m (to have), red n (to talk), rear n (to cry), etc.


Drau cycle path, Pustertalbahn and Pustertalstrasse, in the background: Dreischusterspitze

The Pustertal is fully accessible via state road 49 and Drautal road B 100 , which together are part of Europastraße 66 . Rail traffic runs on the Pustertalbahn , which merges into the Drautalbahn in Innichen . There is also a continuous cycle path, known as the Drau cycle path from Toblach (or Innichen ) to Lienz .


The South Tyrolean legend of the Trude, the child in the shadow , who has to obey the knight Scharhart and how he dies in a judicial duel against Marhild, takes place in the Pustertal.

The legend about the giant Haunold , who grows up at the Admirabus spring in the innermost Villgratental valley , overcomes the Hun prince of Heinfels in a duel and helps build the San Candido monastery, before he is raptured to the mountain of the same name, is also located in Alta Pusteria .

The magician Thurn Urban, who is said to have been up to mischief on the Thurntaler and was executed in Vierschach , is historically guaranteed .

Stories about the Wilde Fohre and the shoemaker around it are particularly widespread in the eastern Puster Valley.


  • District community Pustertal (Ed.): Our Pustertal - past and present . Athesia, Bozen 2009, ISBN 978-88-8266-622-4 ( online ).
  • Magdalena Hörmann-Weingartner (Ed.): Tiroler Burgenbuch. IX. Volume: Val Pusteria . Athesia Publishing House, Bozen 2003, ISBN 978-88-8266-163-2 .
  • Josef Rampold : Pustertal: Landscape, past and present on the Drau, Rienz and Ahr (= South Tyrolean regional studies . Volume 2). 5th edition. Athesia, Bozen 1987, ISBN 88-7014-164-0 .
  • Helmut Stampfer (Ed.): Farms in South Tyrol. Volume 10: Lower Puster Valley. From Rodeneck to Terenten . Athesia, Bozen 2016, ISBN 978-88-6839-145-4 .
  • Helmut Stampfer (Ed.): Farms in South Tyrol. Volume 11: Middle Puster Valley. Part 1: Pfalzen, St. Lorenzen, Bruneck, Stegen, St. Georgen, Dietenheim, Reischach . Athesia, Bozen 2017, ISBN 978-88-6839-146-1 .
  • Helmut Stampfer (Ed.): Farms in South Tyrol. Volume 11: Middle Puster Valley. Part 2: Gais, Percha, Olang, Rasen-Antholz . Athesia, Bozen 2019, ISBN 978-88-6839-260-4 .

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Josef Rampold : Pustertal. Bolzano: Athesia 1980, p. 61.
  2. ^ Karl Finsterwalder: Pustertaler Ortnames , in: Der Schlern, born 1965, p. 453.
  4. 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. 124-125 No. 161 .
  5. ^ Egon Kühebacher : The Hofmark Innichen. Innichen 1969, p. 38

Coordinates: 46 ° 44 '  N , 12 ° 10'  E