NOT TO BE MISSED: THE MILLS IN REINSWALD, THE MINE GALLERIES, THE FARMER MUSEUM ROHRERHAUS
From astonishment to delight
How did people used to live in the Val Sarentino/Sarntal Valley? Are you interested in minerals, in abandoned mines, in medieval frescoes, or the interplay of the Alpine rose, nature and horses? Perhaps you enjoy poking around second-hand stalls? You can look forward to seeing and experiencing so much that can only be found here in the Val Sarentino/Sarntal Valley, yet that will leave a lasting impression.
Lake Durnolz is a small, romantic mountain lake at the end of the Durnholz Valley in the Sarntal Alps in South Tyrol. Thanks to its special location and uniqueness, the lake has been designated a conservation zone and is an inviting spot for angling and circular hikes. In winter the large natural ice provides plenty of ice skating fun for young and old alike right from the beginning of winter.
Lake Kratzberg - the crystal-clear mountain lake in the western Sarntal Alps
Lake Kratzberg feeds the Sagbach stream that flows downhill to Aberstückl and nestles amongst crags and granite blocks. The Verdinser Plattenspitze towers over it in the west, whilst to the north there is a clear view of the Sarntal Weisshorn.
Secretive and shrouded in legend - the "Stoanerne Mandlen" (Stone Men)
Some of them taller than a man, the stacked pillars of sandstone slabs rise up out of the fabled hill top. The Sarntal residents call them "Stoanerne Mandlen" which means "stone men". Many legends and myths describe the location of the stone men as a witches' dancing place beset with secrets.
Alpenrose Blossom on the Penser Joch
A natural spectacle of an extra special kind can be experienced from mid-June until mid-July along the panoramic pass road over the 2,211 metre high Penser Joch. During this period in the steep pastures to the left and right of the road the alpenrose blooms glow like a red sea.
Kreuzjoch Panoramic Platform
The viewing platform lies at 2,086 metres on the E5 European long distance hiking trail and offers a 360º view of the surrounding mountains, from the Dolomites to the Ortler and Texel Groups.
Sattele Panoramic Platform in the Reinswald Skiing and Hiking Region
The easiest way to reach this striking viewing platform in the eastern Sarntal Alps is by gondola and then on foot from Pichlbergalm or Pfnatschalm. In winter the chairlift runs directly from the Pfnatschalm to Sattele, which is situated at 2,460 metres above sea level. All year round there is an impressive 360º view, and the panoramic Dolomite vistas can only be described as cinematic.
The Urlelock and Centre of South Tyrol
Below the Sunnolm in the Reinswald skiing and hiking area, are the Urlelockn. According to ancient legend, in days of yore an enchanted lake could be found here, where strangers who had left their lives behind in the deep snow, old virgins who during their lives had believed everything to be beneath them, and young female hay rakers who had not led modest lives all found their watery graves. This is the geographical centre of South Tyrol.
The Reinswald Mills lie in the Mühltal Valley in the Sarntal. The restored water mills are a popular destination for hikers in summer and winter alike (good place to stop for a snack and a rest).
The steep and striking crag rises up 660 m out of the Sarntal Gorge not far from Runkelstein Castle. It takes its name from the Chapel of St. Johannes that stands on its summit. There is a rewarding hike on the tall rock pillars in the Sarntal Gorge with the little church of St Johannes on the summit.
On the steep land below the Nid-Schupfen is the small mine in the Nid (Nie). Lead and fluorite (fluorspar) were mined there until 1890. In around 1850 a test tunnel was dug to the left of the Paulswand, whose entrance today has been buried. Another was driven below the Sulzspitze. This is still in existence today.
(Source: Sarntal unter Tage (Sarntal Below Ground) book)
The Mineshafts on the Toten
The Silberberg in the Sarntal Alps
In the 16th and 17th centuries in particular, miners dug in the tunnels, some of which are still well preserved, for galena, sphalerite and pyrites. However mining began there much earlier. Evidence for this can be found in a deed of gift dating from 1140. Today, the mouth of the Johanni tunnel is still well preserved.
The Trödelkeller (Jumble Cellar) in the ancient Klompererhaus in Sarnthein
The Trödelkeller is open on the first and third Saturday mornings of the month. It is also a great place to rummage and browse for little gems on the long Wednesday evenings (Sarnar Verwitzmitte festival) in July and August as well as during the Alpine Advent Christmas Market.
Rohrerhaus Farmer Museum
The Rohrerhaus in Sarnthein is an old farmhouse that has been converted into a museum, with an old smokehouse and bread-baking ovens. The Rohrerhaus is built simply yet spaciously, to serve a purpose, without embellishments and yet with a plain, quiet style.
If you are interested in sacred art, then you are sure to be delighted by the Church of St. Nikolaus in Durnholz with its frescoes dating from the 15th century. The churches of Maria Himmelfahrt and St. Cyprian in Sarnthein, St. Valentin am Gentersberg and St. Johann im Walde near Pens are also endowed with a wealth of sacred art.
Fritz Turnery Showcase
Find out more about handicrafts in the Sarntal Valley and look over the shoulder of a master as he goes about his work! The Drechslerei Fritz Turnery showcase reveals fascinating details about the growing and felling of trees and about the products that can be made from them. Master turner, Fritz Unterkalmsteiner, will be delighted to take the time in person to tell you more about his craft. You will see here how turners worked over 100 years ago.
Demonstration duration: approx. 20 minutes
Opening hours: mid-June to mid-September, every Thursday from 10 am-12 noon and 2-6 pm.