The traces of the Middle Ages: historical attractions in Val Gardena
The most impressive sights in Val Gardena were created by nature: the steep rocky peaks of the Dolomites. Furthermore, there are many ruins and castles to remind us of the long settlement history of this alpine region. An excursion to the Castel Gardena takes you to a fortification from the 17th century, which offers a fantastic view over the Val Gardena. The castle was built in Renaissance style and is privately owned. The ruins of Castel Wolkenstein date from the early 13th century – it was named after its owner. During a walk you can visit the beautiful building situated on a steep slope.
Churches in Val Gardena: sacred architecture in the Dolomites
Charming churches and chapels rise in the centre of the villages in Val Gardena and in more remote areas. The Church of the Saint Bolsena in S. Cristina is a jewel of baroque architecture. It was built on the foundations of an earlier building, and a part of the Romanesque bell tower is still preserved. Truly delightful is the gothic church of San Giacomo above Ortisei. The building dates from the 12th century and the interior is designed in the baroque style. A splendid baroque building is the parish church of Ortisei – at the beginning of the 20th century it has been expanded by two aisles.
Sights of the modern era in Val Gardena
Among the most impressive sights in the recent past there is the worldwide largest nativity scene in St. Christina. It features more than life-size wooden figures, and was carved by local artists. Since the year 2000, you can admire the crib at the sports centre Iman. Friends of astronomy should not miss a visit to the spherical equatorial sundial on Monte Pana. It has a diameter of two meters and shows the time for S. Cristina and for other 60 cities across the globe. The Val Gardena Museum in the centre of Ortisei presents an extensive collection of archaeological artefacts, ancient relics and geological finds.