The History of Val Gardena

The History of Val Gardena


The history of Val Gardena had its beginnings around 6000 BC with the first prehistoric settlements; the findings of Plan de Frea suggest a temporary hunter camp during summer, while the Col de Flam excavations have unearthed a permanent settlement dating back to 400 BC.

Subsequently, the isolated Alpine valleys were populated by the Retian, whose origin remains mysterious.

The region was conquered by the Roman commander Drusus in 15 BC. The first written document mentioning the Val Gardena dates back to 999: it’s an official document that pass the ownership of the "Forestum ad Gredine" to Bishop Gottshalk of Freising. It took many centuries for the construction of the Val Gardena road, inaugurated in 1856, which improved communications with the valley, very isolated until that moment.

In the early twentieth century, the Committee for the Val Gardena railway tried to build a railroad, but we have to wait until 1915 to see it finally implemented, a 31 kilometers long railroad built to supply the austrian troops on the Dolomite front.

On the old route of the railway there is a walking trail (la ferata) that connects Ortisei, S. Cristina and Selva Gardena, with stunning vistas on a magic scenery.