History & stories
A time without a story is a time without a face If that’s true, then Nauders has a distinctive face. The holiday destination on the Reschen Pass loves to show it, as it looks back on a turbulent, moving past.
All roads lead to Rome, in fact via the Reschen Pass. For the history of Nauders begins with the Roman Alpine road, the Via Claudia Augusta. Having said that, there is evidence of the first settlement in the bronze age....
Nauders was the most northerly outpost of the Rhaetian Venoste (VInschgau) against the neighbouring tribes in the Inn valley, who they grouped together as the “Oeniates” (Inn dwellers) which led to the name “Oeniatina Vallis” or Engadine. With military conquest and occupation of Rhaetia by the Romans in 16 and 15 B.C.E., the area came under Roman control, and the construction of the Via Claudia Augusta followed. A map found in Alexandria indicates a post “Inutrium” marked on the Via Claudia Augusta. This probably indicates the later “Nudres” mentioned in records from 1150. The place name Nauders corresponds to a largely hidden Roman language layer and is ascribed to the Veneto-Illyrians.
With the conquest of the Alpine countries by the Romans, the province of Rhaetia was created. Many names of rivers, and in part, family names, hark back to the process of Romanisation: Tantervals, Munt, Quadra, Kastelmunt, Labaun, Zadres, Verpiens, Vatals, Sates, Pazöl, Valdafuor, Compatsch, Pradanolf, Galstira, Dallamorta, Pardej, Feldrijauna, Partoangs, Turalei, Arsangs, Giamres, Selles, Riatsch, Spondelles.
In Emperor Charlemagne’s local districts, the dukes he had put in place ruled, who gathered the freemen on court days. Nauders was a High Court and a Blood Court, judgements were enforced in the meadows south of Nauders. In the 10th century Nauders was already one of the four courts in the Duchy of Vinschgau. Even today, the fields on the Arsangbach are known as “By the High Court”. As a consequence of the partition of the Tirol (1919), Naudersberg Court was dissolved and made part of the Ried District Court. Naudersberg was at one time the highest court in the Austro Hungarian Empire, in terms of elevation, not authority!
Plague and disasters
As the plague raged throughout Europe in the 14th century, the village was reduced to just a few inhabitants in 1348. In 1609, Nauders was rocked by an avalanche, 22 dwellings were destroyed. 1880 the elements struck once more: A major fire burned down 83 houses and 72 commercial buildings.
War with the French
After a long period of internal peace, the Wars of the Coalition between Napoleon and the allied Austrians, Prussians and Russians brought war to Nauders in 1799. The French dug in in the village - it was completely plundered. Buildings were torn down and all reserves of food were shamefully thrown in the stream.