Anyone who thought the Ahrntal valley was "just" an outdoor paradise was wrong. From medieval dynasties, centuries of mining to the high- alpine flora and fauna, there is a lot to experience and marvel at. Last but not least, we "Ahrntaler" are interesting people ourselves, that love to tell stories. Stories about our mountains, our past, old craftsmanship and of course some promising ideas and projects that arise here year after year. You will see that the Ahrntal is full of surprises!
As inveterate Ahrntal people, our home is very important to us. So we are very pleased to bring you closer to the culture, traditions, attractions and many different faces of the valley! We are happy to inform you about everything there is to experience and help to make your holiday in the Ahrntal a very special one. No matter what you are interested in, please do not hesitate to speak to us. Of course we also have one or the other insider tip ready for you!
For all those who still don't believe us that our valley has a lot to tell, here's a little preview of it:
The copper mine at Prettau experienced its heyday 600 years ago, when the extraordinary suppleness of Prettau copper was in great demand. The tunnels, which were driven centimeter by centimeter into the rock with simple tools, are masterpieces of mining craftsmanship. But even in the 20th century, Prettau was Italy's third largest copper supplier. Today a mine train leads into the heart of the mine, and in the climate tunnels, where the air is so pure that people can get their breath back.
The special residential character of the former dynasty castle attracts around 70,000 visitors every year. Children enjoy the armory chamber, art lovers enjoy the Pacher frescoes and romantics enjoy the picture book-like castle complex. With special exhibitions, guided visits, cultural events as well as a castle tavern in the inner courtyard, the Castle offers a lot to experience to its visitors.
Taufers Castle was purchased by the South Tyrolean Castle Institute in 1977. Since then, conservation measures have been carried out on this evidence of the state's culture so that Taufers Castle can be valued as a monument of art and lived as a building of history.
Around the middle of the 15th century, Steinhaus became the administrative seat of the Prettau copper mine. All goods that were needed for mining operations were kept in a warehouse. This included the grain for food as well as raw materials for tools and the light. All of these goods were referred to as "Pfennwerte", which were paid out to the miners in the form of wages. The "Kornkasten" served as a food store for the mine for many centuries. Today it contains an interesting exhibition of the lifes of the "Knappen" (mining workers) of the Prettau copper mine.
The entire Ahrntal valley is located right on the edge of the "Rieserferner-Ahrn" nature park, which has a unique, rural flora and fauna that is rarely found in the Alps these days. This special flora and fauna, as well as the different rock layers, tell a lot of stories about the history of the Alps. That is why there are two exhibitions in the Ahrntal valley, which bring our guests closer to the nature, beauty and stories of our Alps.
The mountain farms in the Ahrntal valley have grown and produced food of the highest quality for decades. So it happens that even today on many farms everything revolves around cheese, bacon, farmhouse bread and much more. Local and regional foods are becoming increasingly popular. Some of them, such as the Ahrntaler "Graukäse", are now even known far beyond the country's borders.
Many of the farmers and food producers are very happy to bring you closer to their work. They always show the whole cycle: from the seed to the freshly baked bread. From the cow in the pasture to the fully matured cheese.
The crystal clear Neves reservoir, also known as Lake Neves, is located in the Mühlwald valley, a side valley of the Tauferer Ahrntal and was created in the 1960s. A circular path leads around the lake at almost 1,900 m above sea level. The impressive arch dam is also accessible in the summer months. Behind the lake rise majestic mountain giants of the Zillertal Alps such as the Hohe Weißzint (3,371 m a.s.l.), the Große Möseler (3,480 m a.s.l.) and the Turnerkamp. A hiking highlight is the Neveser Höhenweg, which runs above the Neves reservoir and offers wonderful views of the Ahrntal mountains. Another popular destination is the Edelrauthütte (Eisbruggjochhütte) at Eisbruggjoch, a transition between the Pfunderer and Lappacher Tal. The refuge at 2,545 m a.s.l. can be reached in 2.5 hours from the reservoir.
MessnerMountainMuseum Corones, situated on the summit plateau of Kronplatz (2,275 m), is dedicated to traditional mountaineering, which has strongly influenced – and has been strongly influenced by – Reinhold Messner. The museum is devoted to mountain history and also offers unique views of the great mountain walls of the Dolomites and the Alps. At the edge of the most magnificent viewing platform in South Tyrol, in the distinctive museum building created by Zaha Hadid, the view goes beyond the borders of South Tyrol to all points of the compass: from the Lienz Dolomites in the east to the Ortler in the west, from the Marmolada in the south to the Zillertal Alps in the north.
MessnerMountainMuseum Ripa is part of a six-centered encounter with the mountains. Reinhold Messner has chosen Bruneck Castle, once the summer residence of the prince bishops, to present mountain peoples from Asia, Africa, South America and Europe, and to reflect on their cultures, religions and tourism activities. The mountain culture is reflected in the daily lives of their inhabitants, who impart life and history to the mountains of the world. This heritage of the mountains, which has ensured survival over the millennia for the people living high up on the brink of life, can now be appreciated at MMM Ripa – with the help of their dwellings, videos and encounters. Surrounded by mountain farms and offering views of the popular Kronplatz skiing and walking area, the rural scenery of the Ahrn Valley and the mighty Zillertal Alps, it is the ideal location for MMM Ripa (in Tibetan: ri=mountain, pa=man).
The most important mineral museum in the Eastern Alps emerged from a decades-long passion to search for and collect minerals. From the area of the Zillertal Alps and the Hohe Tauern, 1000 individual exhibits, which were created around 30 million years ago in the depths of our earth, are on display on 300 m² of exhibition space. Many of these wonderful and sometimes unique treasures would not have been preserved without the often dangerous commitment of the collectors, but would have been destroyed by nature because of frost and erosion. In addition to the largest smoky quartz in South Tyrol and a reconstructed alpine fissure, the most beautiful rock crystal in the world from the Prettau mine is one of the special attractions. In the multimedia room, the formation of minerals, the search and find and their healing effects are shown. Let yourself be enchanted by the intense radiance of the diverse crystals of our mountains!
The Maranatha Crib Museum in Luttach comes from an ingenious vision of the Gartner family. The word Maranatha is an Aramaic exclamation that was probably used by the early Christians. Possible meanings are: "Our Lord has come" (maran atha) or "Our Lord will come" or - most likely - "Our Lord, come!" In 2000, the Maranatha, the most imaginative nativity scene in Europe, was opened in Luttach after four years of construction. Since then the museum has been expanded again and again. The outside area, the visions for folk art and nativity scenes, as well as the sculpture workshop, have been completely redesigned. Works of art from different countries are on display in the flower garden and on 1,300 m² of exhibition space. If you take your time and observe carefully, you will experience the development of carving from the beginnings of toolmaking to root and mask carving up to today's modern sculpturing in the Ahrntal valley.
MAN’S FASCINATION WITH MOUNTAINS HAS BEEN UNBROKEN AS LONG AS ANYONE CAN REMEMBER LUMEN gives this fascination a photographic home: located at the summit of the region Kronplatz (in South Tyrol), 1,800 square metres are dedicated to mountain photography. Spanning four floors LUMEN offers the possibility to experience the history of mountain photography from its beginnings until the present as well as displaying the art of mountain-photographers from all over the world. A scientific approach and entertainment are not contradictions — LUMEN shows historic pictures and digital innovations, exciting temporary and special exhibitions as well as spectacular productions. The curated program stands out due to its interdisciplinary character: alpinism, tourism, politics, spirituality and history — the subject mountains is examined from different perspectives.