The Zischgen Chapel in Obereggen
In Obereggen, the Zischgen Chapel with its peaked, shingle-covered tower in front of the old Zischgen farmstead jutting from the slope is a very frequently photographed motif. Against the backdrop of the magnificent wooded ridge, the peaked Eggen Valley Horn looms. Since 1701, there have been stories about a small house chapel near the Zischgen farmstead. In 1895, the chapel (dedicated to St. Florian) was reconstructed – the neighboring farmsteads helped defray the cost – and it was given its current Gothic appearance: The pointed arch doorway and above it, in the façade, a rosette and the ornate west tower (by the local carpenter Erlacher) with the bells. Inside, stunning stained glass windows, ridge turrets, groined vaults, and the gallery. The chapel can be viewed daily from the choir.
The St. Nicholas Parish Church in Eggen
St. Nicholas, the Patron Saint of miners, was held to be the protector of those in danger from water. In Eggen, it was believed that he protected the village against the raging waters of the Sam Brook and of the Gerold Brook. Until the curacy was built in 1681, Eggen was served by the parish of Deutschnofen / Nova Ponente. While St. Nicholas had the right to bury its dead parishioners as well as to read the Mass, since 1435, Eggen was ministered by a priest from Deutschnofen / Nova Ponente. With the establishment of the first curacy, this stopped, and in 1919, the curacy was elevated to the status of an independent parish. The church is open daily from 8:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m.
Parish Church of Saints Ulrich and Wolfgang
The parish church of Deutschnofen / Nova Ponente is a splendid example of late-Gothic architecture and is now 500 years old (first documented mention). Of the original church, only the lower part of the Romanic bell tower (which was raised in the Gothic style in 1555) has survived. In 1793, lightning damaged the church and destroyed the pyramidal spire, after which the tower was given an octagonal tambour and dome, thus acquiring its current appearance. The church is home to the famous altar by Hans von Judenburg. The church is open daily from 8:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. and may be entered for viewing.
Originally, this castle-like manor house in Deutschnofen / Nova Ponente was a closet tower. The square room now housing the museum was the lower part of the fortress. Thus, it was a Romanic tower dating back to the 13th Century, and can be easily recognized in the present-day building. In 1341, Thurn Castle was the seat of a court. In 1911, it was purchased by the community administration. In 1985, it was renovated and made into the government seat of the community. At present, it is also the location of other government agencies. The museum in the Thurn Castle is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. till 12 noon and Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. till 5:00 p.m. Information available by phoning: +39 0471 617500.
The Gothic Chapel in St. Helena
A hike to this architectural jewel built on the site of prehistoric cult worship is a treat in any season. The chapel is home to one of the most-important collections of Gothic frescoes in South Tyrol, and is sure to prove an inspiring experience. The approach to the church via the forest trail, when the church spire and ancient building slowly rise up against the backdrop of the Rose Garden, is an impressive sight for hikers. And the panoramic view from the church hill of the forests of the Eggen Valley as well as of the Schlern/Sciliar, the Rose Garden, Latemar, Zanggen, as well as the summits of the Black Horn and White Horn is even more awe-inspiring. Hikers will be astonished by the unexpected beauty of the paintings to be found in this quaint little church. An atmosphere of reverence and contemplation pervades the premises. The beautiful frescoes are priceless examples of art dating back to the High Gothic period of the early 15th Century. Examples include the paintings of St. Christophorus and of St. Helena, a series of theological and salvation-historical images, and the representation of the birth of Christ. The chapel can be viewed daily from 8:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. You can obtain the key from the farm across the street.
St. Agatha Chapel in Deutschnofen / Nova Ponente
This little church enjoys a quiet existence far from the hustle and bustle of the big towns, in a peaceful forest. In earlier times, the inhabitants of Deutschnofen / Nova Ponente came here when visiting Stations of the Cross. In more recent times, however, they came here only during lengthy droughts, to petition the help of St. Agatha. This saint was greatly revered in early Christian times and came from a noble family in Sicily. Around the middle of the 3rd Century, she died a martyr’s death on red-hot coals. The chapel was built at this remote location about seven hundred years ago (in the year 1318). You can obtain the key from the Unterkoflhof farmstead.
Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Margarete
The Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Margarete is located in Petersberg / Monte S. Pietro. Of this church, dating back to the Romanic Epoch, only the tower with two rows of round arch windows and a section of the nave wall have survived. The peaked roof was added to the tower in the early 18th Century, after it had been damaged by weather. A major reconstruction of the church was undertaken in the 17th Century, in the course of which the nave was given a barrel vault arch, the side aisle was added, and the stone-framed portal with rosettes and granite blocks was inserted into the façade. The church is open daily from 8:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m.
The Place of Pilgrimage Maria Weissenstein / Pietralba
The long aisle in the monastery is impressive, with its many votive plaques. Maria Weissenstein / Pietralba (1,520 meters above sea-level) is South Tyrol's most-important place of pilgrimage. It is among the most highly venerated religious sites in the entire province. This place of pilgrimage has been served by good roads from two directions for a couple of decades, now. The one road comes from the Eggen Valley, via Deutschnofen / Nova Ponente and Petersberg / Monte S. Pietro to Weissenstein/Pietralba. The other road ascends from the Etsch/Adige Valley, touches Aldein/Aldino, and ends in Weissenstein/Pietralba. The stream of pilgrims has increased markedly since the visit here by Pope John Paul II in July of 1988. This place of pilgrimage – including the church, the Pilgrims' House (built in 1897), the souvenir store, the inn (built in 1708), and the parking lot – is well-equipped not only for devout pilgrims, but also for the many hikers who stop by here. Open daily from 8:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. You can obtain information about guided tours by phoning: +39 0471 615165.
Museum Street and the Fruit Market
The Laubengasse begins to the west of the Town Square. The Laubengasse is one of the most-visited streets of the city. This neighborhood has represented the commercial trade center of the Bozen/Bolzano region since time immemorial. No visit to this charming city would be complete without stopping by the Fruit Market, which is open daily. Additionally, the house fronts with their characteristic bay windows have an appeal all their own. And don't miss the two historical apothecaries, "Zur Madonna" and "Schwarzer Adler."
The Nature Museum
This permanent exhibition, including living animals and the coral reef aquarium, is supplemented by special exhibitions and a rich variety of information sources. The museum focuses on its own research findings and its collections in the disciplines of geo-science, botany, and zoology. Open: Year round, from Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. Closed Mondays. Web address: www.naturmuseum.it
South Tyrolean Archeology Museum
The Archeology Museum was inaugurated in 1998. It documents the history of South Tyrol from the Paleolithic and Mesolithic Eras up to the Carolingian Age. Besides original archeological artifacts, various models, reconstructions, and interactive multi-media stations give visitors a greater understanding of the past in a scientifically grounded but also entertaining fashion. The central exhibition complex is dedicated to "Ötzi," the Ice Man (3300 B.C.). Open: Year round, from Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. till 5:30 p.m., Closed Mondays. Web address: www.archaeologiemuseum.it
Public Observatory – The Solar Observatory
South Tyrol's first and only public observatory in Obergummer / San Valentino di Sopra offers astronomy-enthusiasts a chance to take a closer look at the treasures of the universe.
Public viewings: Year round, every Thursday and Friday after nightfall, but not before 7:00 p.m. No viewings in case of bad weather! Please register by contacting the Community of Karneid/Cornedo, phone: 0471 361314. Web address: www.sternwarte.it
The Thermal Baths of Meran/Merano
The new thermal baths at Meran/Merano add not only another health spa to the city's attractions, but also an architectural highlight. The impressive cube made of glass and steel is the heart of the new complex of thermal baths at the south side of the Passer/Passirio River. The new square formed between the thermal baths and the thermal bath hotel provides a welcome opportunity to stop for refreshments at the terrace café and is regarded as one of the city's most popular meeting spots. Open: Year round, from 9:00 a.m. till 10:00 p.m. Web address: www.termemerano.it
At the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, plants from all over the world have been assembled – but the typical flora of South Tyrol can likewise be viewed. Walkways serpentine through the water gardens and terraces up the hillside, leading visitors to the "Sensual Garden" or to the Japanese Garden, through a landscape of cacti and succulents, or to a section presenting typical agricultural plants of southern climes like olive trees and grapevines. Open: Daily, from April 1 till October 31 from 9.00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m.and daily, from November 1 till November 30 from 9.00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m.. Web address: www.trauttmansdorff.it
MMM Firmian at Castle Corona di Sigismondo / Sigmundskron
MMM. No, it's not a restaurant – it's a museum! The Messner Mountains Museum Firmian is part of a wonderful concept. One of five museums, the purpose of which is to give visitors a better understanding of the mountains. Reinhold Messner has harnessed his imagination to create an overall work of art sure to leave visitors with vivid and lasting impressions. Thus, one of the museums is located on Monte Rite and affords a 360° panoramic view of the bizarre Alpine world of the Dolomites. Open: from the first sunday of march until the third sunday of november. Closed Thursday. Web address: www.messner-mountain-museum.it