Wengen (South Tyrol)

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(Lad .: La Val , Italian: La Valle )
coat of arms
Wengen coat of arms
Wengen in South Tyrol - Positionskarte.svg
State : Italy
Region : Trentino-South Tyrol
Province : Bolzano - South Tyrol
District community : Val Pusteria
Inhabitants :
(VZ 2011 / 31.12.2019)
1,299 / 1,398
Language groups :
(according to 2011 census )
1.53% German
0.81% Italian
97.66% Ladin
Coordinates 46 ° 39 ′  N , 11 ° 55 ′  E Coordinates: 46 ° 39 ′  N , 11 ° 55 ′  E
Altitude : 1.106- 3026  m slm (center: 1353  m slm )
Surface: 39.03 km²
Permanent settlement area: 7.1 km²
Neighboring municipalities: Abbey , Enneberg , St. Martin in Thurn
Postal code : 39030
Area code : 0471
ISTAT number: 021117
Tax number: 81005390216
Mayor  (2015): Angelo Miribung

Wengen ( La Val in Ladin , La Valle in Italian ) is an Italian municipality with 1,398 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019) in South Tyrol . Together with St. Martin in Thurn , Abtei , Corvara and Enneberg , Wengen is one of the five Ladin communities in Val Badia .


View to the west from Alt-Wengen to the Barbarakapelle and Peitlerkofel

The municipality of Wengen is 39.03 km² and is located roughly in the middle of the Gadertal (Ladin Val Badia ) in Ladinia, which runs from north to south . The largest settlement areas, including the small village of St. Genesius (1320- 1400  m slm , San Senese ) and numerous smaller hamlets ( viles ), located in the east branching off from the main valley Wengental ( Val de Spëscia ) that the Caprice Bach ( Rue de Ćiampló ) is flowed through.

From the Antonijoch through the small Fanestal towards Wengen

In the east and south-east, the Wengen Valley is bounded by the rugged ridges of the Fanes Group , a sub-group of the Dolomites . The most important mountains of Wengen include (from south to north) the Heiligkreuzkofel ( 2907  m , Sas dla Crusc ), the Zehner ( 3026  m , Sas dles Diesc ), the Neuner ( 2968  m , Sas dles Nü ) and the Antonijoch ( Ju de Sant'Antone ) and the small Fanestal, separated from the previous ones by the Antonispitze ( 2655  m , Piz de Sant'Antone ) and the Pares ( 2396  m , Sas de Crosta ). Large parts of Wengen's share in the Fanes Group are protected in the Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park . In the north, a gentle ridge that carries the Kreuzspitze ( 2021  m , Crusc de Rit ) separates the Wengental from Enneberg . Most of the viles with their agricultural land are located on the southern slopes of this forested chain . In the south, the Armentara meadows ( Pra d'Armentara ) border the Wengen Valley towards the Abbey .

Wengen's share of the Gadertal main valley is relatively small. Here is just off the Gader ( Gran Ega ) located the village of Pederoa (1150- 1200  m , Pidro ) where the year-round navigable Gadertalstraße north to San Martino in Badia and on into the Pustertal near Brunico leads, and where the road to the Wengen settlement center branches off to the east. Located on the west side of the Val Badia still Wengen municipality parts of the north-eastern foothills of the thePuez , the Val Badia from Campilltal separate.


The name Wengen Strata or Wengen Formation , in Italian Formazione di La Valle , comes from this village.


Iron age

Old hay hut on Armentara, background: Holy Cross Church

On the alpine pastures of the Ritwiesen and Armentara there are many small, simply built hay huts. It is believed that the design dates back to the Latène period (300 to 100 BC). In the meantime these huts have also been overtaken by technical progress , as the hay is now shrink-wrapped in plastic bags (bale silage ). The old huts are still used as tool sheds or are being converted into small leisure huts.

middle Ages

Barbarakirche on the left, old church in the middle, parsonage half right, right edge: old inn, painting by Giachomo Kolz

As early as the years 1039-1041, Count Volkhold transferred the upper Gadertal on both sides of the Gaderbach to the Sonnenburg Monastery (near St. Lorenzen ), which he founded, as part of its founding equipment . Wengen himself is mentioned as Twenge for the first time in the so-called Calendarium Wintheri , a necrology of the Brixen cathedral chapter from around 1225/30 . A Sonnenburger Urbar , which lists individual locations, dates from 1296 . Wengen names Runch, “Pitzedatze” (Picedac on the western Weng side) and Promperch (also on the western side) and Rü.

Parish church of St. Genesius (Lad .: San Senese) in front of Armentara and Zehner

The oldest homestead (or hamlet) is Tolpëi behind the Barbarakapelle and Alt-Wengen. In 1382 the old church of St. Genesius in Alt-Wengen is mentioned. The consecration certificate of the St. Barbara Chapel, whose second patron saint is St. Florian , dates from 1491. St. Barbara is the patron saint of miners. It is believed that the chapel was built by miners from the Buchenstein Valley (Lad. Fodom ). According to local tradition, silver was earlier mined in nearby Tolpëi, which could also explain why the patron saint of miners has a chapel here. According to tradition, mining for lead ores and silver has been proven to date back to the 16th century, so it could have been carried out earlier in the 15th century.

The picture on the left shows a small section from the chapel's altarpiece, which was made by "Giachomo Kolz in 1806 ". The path that leads down to the left still exists today, but it is no longer of great importance. The chapel had the function of acoustically reaching the western valley and the other side of the Wengen with its peal and bells, as the old church was built unfavorably in a corner of the valley.

Romanesque house in Furnacia

In the Middle Ages, Ladin house types of the “ Romanesque house” type (e.g. Furnacia) and the later “ Gothic house” (Runch) were built in Wengen .

Modern times

South-eastern part of the Atlas Tyrolensis , where Wengen is also shown.

In the 16th century, mining for iron ore and silver in Tolpei not far from the Barbara Chapel, which is dedicated to the patron saint of miners.

In 1785 , under Emperor Joseph II, as part of the Josephinism that was named after him, the Sonnenburg monastery was deprived of its landlord rights, which it had until then still had in Val Badia. In the course of this secularization , the Barbara Chapel was also closed in 1786 (similar to the Holy Cross Church (abbey) ) for a number of years no longer known.

In 1874 the inauguration of today's neo-Romanesque St. Genesius Church was on the "Plan da Murin" (Mühlplatz). On the edge of one of the ceiling paintings, the church itself is shown with the nine in the background. In 1933 , the old St. Genesius Church, which had become too small and has hardly been used since the inauguration of the new church, was removed except for the bell tower and a few remains of the foundation and wall. Due to the central location of the new church, the old Barbara chapel has also become, so to speak, inoperative.

In the First World War Wengen was not so far from the front. The Dolomite front ran southeast of the Gader. The Fanes was an Austrian supply area. The military road there ran from the neighboring municipality of Enneberg through the Rautal. Wengen belonged to the judicial district of Enneberg until the end of the First World War and was part of the Bruneck district .

At the end of the First World War, South Tyrol came to Italy, as did Wengen. After the First World War, Mussolini tried to Italianize South Tyrol . Every place, including the Ladin ones, was given an Italian name, so Wengen or La Val became La Valle . (The homestead above La Val is, however, already called Italian "Campo" ( field ) on Austrian maps . Today it is called Ladin Ćians .) The Ladin language was declared an Italian dialect during Italian fascism ( see more detailed Questione Ladina ) .

After the Second World War, the “ South Tyrol Liberation Committee ” became active. Electricity pylons were blown up, police officers were also killed, although the question of the perpetrator is controversial here ( history of South Tyrol ). In any case, firecracking , which otherwise took place on public holidays, was banned in Wengen . The Andreas Hofer song was also forbidden for the brass bands for a while .

1951 in Wengen the legend of the empire of the Fanes was staged by the population.

Some old photos of Wengen from the first half of the 20th century can be found in the Ladin State Museum at Schloss Thurn in St. Martin in Thurn .

In 1930 Campill ( Lungiarü ) and Wengen were connected to St. Martin in Thurn, and Welschellen ( Rina ) to Enneberg. While Wengen has had its own municipality since 1965, Campill stayed with St. Martin in Thurn.

In 1968 the "Costa" homestead burned down and was rebuilt.

abandoned house in Miribun

Ultimately, modern times came in Wengen in the 80s , when all the farms were connected to paved roads. Last but not least, the Second Statute of Autonomy for the Autonomous Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol made this possible. Like other communities in South Tyrol, Wengen is now experiencing strong growth. In the 1950s the main town still consisted of the church, the Messner's house, a house and an inn. It also seemed difficult to expand because the terrain quickly became steep again both down the valley and up the mountain. But in the 1960s a second inn was built on the slope, which has since been rebuilt and expanded many times. This was just the beginning. Since then, a (still) small settlement has emerged below and above Wengen with a few shops, numerous pensions and residential buildings. A sprawl of the valley could however be avoided until now.

Wengen, too, is now faced with the difficulty of how the old, grown culture can be preserved. The old farmhouses no longer meet modern requirements, they are being abandoned, some expensive and successfully modernized, some simply demolished and replaced by new buildings. Some new houses are built based on Ladin style elements, cheaper houses are simply built in the “Tyrolean style”.

Plans to open up Wengen for skiing were not realized, also out of concern for tradition. Nevertheless, there are more guests in Wengen in winter than in summer. A shuttle bus transports tourists to the nearby ski areas.


Bad Rumestluns on the altarpiece in the chapel (in the foreground)

In the nineteenth century Wengen was known nationwide with its spa ( Al Bagn ) in Rumestluns ("Rumschlungs", Bad Rumustluns, 1412  m slm ). Rumestluns is located south of the Wengenbach, a little shady, at the mouth of the “Rü da la Gana ” (Bach to the Wild Woman) stream coming from the Armentara into the Wengenbach. The spa was a sulfur bath with radioactive water (3.1 mache units ). It is said to have helped against numerous diseases such as venereal diseases, scurvy and scrofulous tumors and prevented rheumatism , rot and podagra .

The most famous guest is Max Planck . Old photos in the castle museum in Sankt Martin in Thurn show English tourists with local guides in Rumestluns. The old bath was replaced by a new building in 1978 and is now only operated as an inn. The source ( silica , sulfuric acid , hydrogen sulphide and other substances) is considered to be too inefficient or the medical requirements have become too strict and thus too expensive to be worthwhile to operate.


Many residents earn their living in tourism (Wengen is a member of the Alta Badia Tourism Association ) and with (arts) crafts. The agriculture plays an economic role. In the somewhat sunless valley town of Pederoa, a small industrial area with (art) craft businesses has emerged on Gadertalstrasse .


There is a primary school in Wengen which is part of the Ladin school district of the neighboring community of Abtei.


Municipal Council (2015)
A total of 15 seats
  • La Val : 15

Mayor since 1965:

  • Giuseppe Videsott: 1965-1969
  • Carlo Miribung: 1969-2000
  • Franz Complojer: 2000–2015
  • Angelo Miribung: since 2015

Religious monuments and landmarks

Church holiday

The most important ecclesiastical buildings are the parish church of St. Genesius , the old church, of which the tower still stands in Alt-Wengen, and the Barbara chapel, which has become the landmark of the place.

There are also other chapels in Rumestluns, in Pederoa, in Aiarei and a newer one in Ćiampëi above Val Badia.

Finally, there are small chapels near Runch and Tolpei, and the processional stations around the main town could also be counted among them.

There are numerous wayside crosses that used to mark forked roads and dangerous spots or that served as a guide.

Finally, there are small shrines that probably go back to pagan times. Small Madonna altars can occasionally be found between tree roots or in small stone caves. Below the Neuner in the Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park, a bronze plaque in honor of St. Hubert was recently attached to a boulder in a lonely clearing .

Place names

Ladin inscription in Gasthof Pider: A sip of good wine - makes the heart lighter - but with moderation - says the script .

In addition to the Ladin place names, there are German or German pronounced Ladin names as well as Italian place names.

The pronunciation of Ladin follows the customs of Romance languages, so Cians means Tschans and not "Zieans", Spëscia means Spescha ("Spessa"), j is a voiced "sh".

The local surnames such as Colz, Comploier, Frenes, Miribung, Tavella with the Ladin place names Côz, Frëines, Miribun, Taéla also give a hint.


  • Dominikus Moling (* around August 28, 1691 in Wengen, South Tyrol; † May 27, 1761 there), sculptor
  • Franz Tavella (born October 10, 1844 in Wengen, † December 12, 1931 in Brixen )
  • the three musicians from Ganes


  • Stefania A. Pitscheider: The sacred art in La Val / Wengen . Pluristamp, Bozen 2003.
  • Rudolf Schwindl: The iron mines and the ironworks of the Bishop of Brixen in Buchenstein and in the Gadertal . Istitut Ladin "Micurà de Rü"
  • Karl Felix Wolff : Dolomite legends. Legends and traditions, fairy tales and stories of the Ladin and German Dolomite inhabitants . With two excursions, Berner Klause and Lake Garda. Unchanged reprint of the sixteenth edition published in 1989 by the Tyrolia publishing house. Publishing house Athesia Bozen 2003 [1913]. ISBN 88-8266-216-0 p. 462ff. Wengen and the Wengener are mentioned.

Audio documents

  • Church clock:

Web links

Commons : Wengen  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Martin Bitschnau , Hannes Obermair : Tiroler Urkundenbuch, II. Department: The documents on the history of the Inn, Eisack and Pustertal valleys. Volume 1: By the year 1140 . Universitätsverlag Wagner, Innsbruck 2009, ISBN 978-3-7030-0469-8 , p. XXXI ff., 174–182 No. 201 (introduction and founding report ).
  2. ^ Bertha Richter-Santifaller: The place names of Ladinien (Schlern-Schriften 36). Innsbruck: Wagner 1937, p. 1.
  3. Karl Wolfsgruber : The oldest land register of the Benedictine monastery Sonnenburg in the Pustertal (The medieval land register of the diocese of Brixen 1). Vienna: Böhlau 1968.
  4. ^ Abbey school district. South Tyrolean Citizens' Network , accessed on October 25, 2014 .
  5. The mayors of the South Tyrolean municipalities since 1952. (PDF; 15 MB) In: Festschrift 50 Years of the South Tyrolean Association of Municipalities 1954–2004. Association of South Tyrolean municipalities, pp. 139–159 , accessed on November 16, 2015 .