Experience culture without borders

The Three Country Region has always attracted visitors - right back to the Bronze Age. They left impressive traces of a turbulent past in the buildings and culture of the region.

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The economic, political, cultural and military historical border situation has left its mark on many centuries of development in the Reschen Pass region. The Romans crossed the Alps on the Via Claudia Augusta, men wrestled over territory here across the centuries or defended themselves against invaders. In and around Nauders, the border fortress of Altfinstermünz, Naudersberg Castle, the fortress in Nauders, historic border forts, bunkers and defences. museums and other sights all bear witness to an eventful past. You can get a feel for everyday life and culture of those days on special village performances by the locals.

Historic border defences

Remains of the Alpine Walls

Tank traps at Plamort (2,050m) high above Nauders and the bunker complex in Graun bear witness to the defensive structures of the Second World War.

From 1936 to 1942, an extensive defensive line (part of the Alpine Wall) was built along the border at Reschen, with bunker complexes, command posts, tank traps, barracks and supply roads to protect against invasion by Hitler’s Germany. Even after Italy’s entry into the formal alliance, the building work was continued under conditions of strict secrecy. However, this was brought to a halt in October 1942 after repeated protests by the German Reich. After the bunkers and traps were allowed to fall into a state of disrepair since 1963, they were then restored and made partly accessible as part of the revitalisation project in Altfinstermünz.

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Popular excursion

The command posts with accommodation and the tank traps at Plamont are a popular destination for walkers and mountain bikers, who want to feel the breath of history, and enjoy the great view of Lake Reschen. The so-called “Dragon’s Teeth” are particularly impressive. The tank traps were erected in marshy ground and not in steps as usual. Larch poles were driven into the soft ground to a depth of five metres, in three rows. The ends of the poles which protruded from the ground were covered in concrete, with a cone shaped steel tip on top. So water could run off, but tanks couldn’t go over - even in snow.

Parts of the bunker complex in Graun/ South Tirol are also accessible with a guide.

Naudersberg Castle

Tirolean court and cuisine

A stroke of luck for the castle ghosts. Thanks to the initiative of one Nauders family, the old Court in Naudersberg Castle was preserved and opened up to visitors

The first mention in the records comes from 1239 as a seat of the Lord of Nauders. From around 1300, the crown prince court had its seat here. Which also led to some building work on the castle. During the Engadine Wars at the end of the 15th. century, Duke Sigismund der Münzreiche and Emperor Maximilian I extended the castle with a barbican, a turret, a round tower and defensive paths on the battlements. Naudersberg castle remained the location of a court until 1919, and then they were a number of residents in the castle. In some years this even included use as a holiday home. Ultimately, Naudersberg stood empty and risked becoming a ruin. in 1980, the Köllemann family from Nauders bought the derelict building and started to restore it. Today, there is a fascinating museum there, a popular restaurant and holiday apartments.

Nauders Fortress

Bulwark of the monarchy

Nauders fortress was built between 1836 and 1846, and acted as a barrier on the Reschen road It is a unique relic of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

The Nauders barrier fortress was built between 1834 and 1840 on the pass road over the Reschen near the medieval Niklasmauer wall It is a powerful, five storey stone block structure with loopholes, and was used initially to block the road, and to protect the Inn Valley from potential troop invasion from Lombardy or Engadine. The fortress is the only completely preserved defensive site from that period, and is used today as a military museum, showing the permanent exhibition “Traffic and the Reschen Pass”, as well as an exhibition by the Nauders Model Club.

Altfinstermünz

A pass simply breathes history

Dark? It was once. After painstaking restoration, the former border and customs town of Altfinstermünz now presents itself as an attractive, interesting memorial to the “dark” middle ages...

The road to the past begins at the fort in Nauders! The old road falls away steeply and reaches the river Inn at Finstermünz. Here stand an old chapel, the old customs house and - seemingly stuck to the rock face - “Siegmundseck” built by Duke Sigismun der Münzreiche. Right in the middle of the river Inn stands the old Klausenturn tower with the wooden bridge, which has been accessible again for a few years now, forming a link between the Tirol and the Engadine.

Once feared by travellers because of its steep rock faces and the danger of rock falls, today Altfinstermünz is a spooky yet beautiful cultural experience for all the family. A day in the border fortress takes you back to the depths of the middle ages, to the time of knights, smugglers and their nemesis - the customs officer. Guests young and old can explore the old buildings, the chapel, secret cliff paths and a natural cave, either with a guide or on their own. A visitor centre gives full information about the history and revitalisation of the fortress as part of a major EU-Interreg IIIB project

 

Turbulent history

From the 9th to the 11th. century, Altfinstermünz was the location of the court for the region Lower Engadine, Nauders and Pfunds In 1078 Duke Welf left an occupying force there during the war against the Bishops of Chur in the “Clusa” (the narrows of Altfinstermünz). In 1159, Altfinstermünz was mentioned in the official records for the first time. Records show taxes and tolls were levied in 1300. The first defensive structures were built from 1472, for example the bridge tower on the river Inn and the Siegmundseck. to protect against attacks from Engadine in 1499 it was a major bulwark in the Engadine Wars. The mighty tower was erected from 1502 to 1537, and access was protected with machicolations and weir gates. The new chapel to the Ascension of the Virgin Mary was built and consecrated in 1605 From 1652, Finstermünz was the border between Tirol and Graubünden.

The customs office was relocated to Martinsbruck in 1779, and Finstermünz came into private hands. It became an inn and a brewery. The “mountain peace” then returned to the court in Nauders. in 1799, heavy fighting in the Coalition Wars took place (Pfunds riflemen took 300 prisoners).

From 1856, Finstermünz (from then know as Altfinstermünz) lost importance due to the completion of the new road from the Kajetan bridge to Nauders, and it was only used as an agricultural site. A new bridge was built around 1875. in 1948/49 there was another restoration of the bridge by the Memorials Office, and the bridge was awarded official protection status.

Altfinstermünz can be reached from various directions, one road goes from Unterengadin to the Upper Court, a second - the Via Claudia Augusta - led to Altfinstermünz even in Roman times.

Entry is free with the Summer Card GOLD and the 3 country Summer Card GOLD, there is a reduction with the Summer Card.

guided museum tours

Altfinstermünz

Altfinstermünz

Finstermünz has always been of special importance because of its geographical location - on the one side as a road connection between the Inn Valley, Vinschgau...

Pfunds
Historical buildings, accessible
Schloss Naudersberg

Schloss Naudersberg

The princely court castle was built at the start of the 14th century and first mentioned in records in1325. Until 1919, the castle was owned by state authorities...

Nauders
Museum, Historical buildings, Forts & castles
Nauders Fort

Nauders Fort

The only completely preserved Old Austrian fort complex for the protection of Tirol’s southern border. The fortress was built around 1840, opposite is...

Nauders
Museum, Historical buildings

Legends & history

Sagas and myths handed down over the generations and lots of history around Nauders on the Reschenpass. 

 

Tours with the scent of herbs

Nauders has a long and turbulent history. Locals tell this story over the course of a guided tour, and at the events on the subject of herbs, you will also learn about old wisdom, newly re-discovered.

Guided tour of the village

The guided tour through the strongly Rhaeto-Romanic influenced village of Nauders spans the ages from the time of the Romans to the present day. It takes place every Monday from 9.00 to 11.00, led by Rose-Marie Waldegger. Meeting point is in front of the TVB office, it is free of charge, but certainly not in vain!

Herb walk

Every Friday from 9.00 to 11.00, Herb Instructor Rose-Marie Waldegger “kidnaps” guests and takes them into the fascinating world of herbs. Meet in front of the TVB office, participation is free.

Mix ointments

Nature is a real pharmacy - if you know how! Herb Instructor Barbara Waldegger shows guests how to mix ointments and make up herb remedies every Thursday at 9.00. Meet in front of the TVB office, the contribution towards costs in €10.00.

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