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Schwarzbrunn in the Voldertal valley

Powerful place in the Hall-Wattens region

Schwarzbrunn at the farthest end of the Voldertal valley is probably the least known of our powerful places in the Hall-Wattens region. But at the same time, it is also one of the most beautiful and lonely of all. The journey alone is spectacular, as the Voldertal valley offers both, breath-taking views over the Inn valley and numerous alpine pastures with idyllic farms. These areas set the scene for countless tales and legends. Another treasure of the Voldertal is the unique Volderwildbad, a former health resort, steeped in history, which had its heyday in the 15th - 16th century.

Therefore, immerse yourself in a truly magical place of power!

The powerful place Schwarzbrunn in the Voldertal valley

at a glance

  • the mystic Voldertal valley
  • alpine agriculture
  • mining in the Voldertal valley
  • Hippolytus Guarinonius and the Volderwildbad

How to reach Schwarzbrunn in the Voldertal valley?

Hiking to Schwarzbrunn

There are several possibilities to reach Schwarzbrunn:

If you are coming from Volders by car, you can park your vehicle at the Volderwildbad where parking is free of charge. The walking time to the Voldertalhütte is about 1 hour.

Alternatively, you drive till the Voldertalhütte and leave your car at the Nösslach parking. Attention, the access road is subject to a toll (3,75 km/2,3 mi). The parking ticket machine is situated below the Volderwildbad, on the left-hand side of the Auerhof farm.

Once you have reached the Nösslach car park or the Voldertalhütte walk straight into the Voldertal valley. At the beginning of the trail you see an accumulation of huts on the right-hand side. Follow the road into the valley until the path makes a sharp left turn. Here you see a wooden sign with the inscription Schwarzbrunn. Turn right and follow the footpath to Schwarzbrunn, our idyllic spot in the Voldertal valley. Total walking time about 50 minutes, distance 2,5 km/1,5 mi. If you want you can continue the trail for another 1,5 hours till you reach the rustic alpine pasture, Steinkasernalm, at 2002 m above sea level.

The last option is to take the Glungezer gondola cableway from Tulfes to Halsmarter middle station. The walk down to the Voldertalhütte takes about 45 minutes and then continue as described above.

The history of Schwarzbrunn in the Voldertal

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In the 18th and 19th century many scientists were attracted by the green alga (Trentepohlia jolithus) and the rare watercress (Nasturtium officinale), which is famous for its healing properties, in the Voldertal valley. It is said that the plant is an aphrodisiac and used in naturopathy to purify liver, lung, and stomach. After all, the real watercress is very rarely found in nature and only grows in places with clean water.

The historical spring of Schwarzbrunn no longer exists today due to several rockfalls and landslides, however, quite a few springs rise in the vicinity. By the way, the charcoal in the ground gives Schwarzbrunn its name. The charcoal layer helped to filter and absorb the water and as a result a pure and mild water with a low level of minerals flowed out. Such water has a detoxifying effect on the human organism when used over a longer period. This is one of the reasons for the constant efforts to build a healing bath at Schwarzbrunn but in the end it was never realised.

The Voldertal valley

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The Voldertal is a side valley of the Inn valley and is spread over two municipal areas. The eastern side belongs to the municipality of Volders, with a rather gentle and soft landscape, while towards the Glungezer, on the west side, the mountain slopes are mostly steep and rugged. This part is assigned to the municipality of Tulfes. The Voldertal river flows through the valley and joins the Inn river at Volders.

In the Voldertal valley we encounter numerous romantic alpine pastures, as alpine farming played the largest role in the valley, besides forestry. The most famous ones are the Vorbergalm, the Steinkasernalm, the Markissalm, the Largozalm and the Stiftsalm. The Voldertal is framed by many well-known mountain peaks, namely the Grünbergspitze, the Malgrübler, the Haneburger and the Largoz, which is particularly famous for ski touring.

In the past, the Voldertal was closely connected with the Haller Saline as a great deal of wood was needed for firing the saltpans for salt extraction. In addition to the timber raft, charcoal production in the Voldertal was an important source of income for the local farmers from the middle of the 16th century onwards. Until the 19th century, the metalworking companies and the salt works needed large quantities of charcoal for firing. But around 1800 the demand for charcoal decreased and the Voldertal charcoal burners lost their main customer with the Haller Saline, which had been using hard coal to heat the brew-pans since 1782. But around 1895 the demand for coal declined steadily and the charcoal piles were abandoned.

In addition to the timber draft and the coal production, the mills played an important role in the valley. Unfortunately, all the five farm mills suffered the same fate, they stopped working about 50 years ago and were abandoned a short time later.

Volderwildbad

Kupferstich Volderwildbad

The Volderwildbad is an idyllic site and an interesting place from the historical point of view. The structure, which is now privately owned and therefore closed to the public, consists of a large veranda, a former inn, various historical buildings, a public bath, a chapel, and a priest’s house. However, you can book the location for events such as weddings. The nearby chapel was built in 1625 and consecrated to the saints Cosmas and Damian. The architecture resembles the church of St. Charles in Volders and was built according to the plans of the Italian physician and polymath Hippolytus Guarinoni.

  • Kapelle Kosmas und Damian
  • Ansicht Volderwildbad, Kuperstich um 1650
  • Volderwildbad

Alpine pastures

Steinkasern (4)

The alpine pastures and their farm buildings have always played an important role in Tyrol and shaped our cultural and alpine landscape. The local farmers have built them with great effort. Only a few temporary farms on alpine pastures are left where cattle and sheep are kept such as the Stiftsalm. The animals can graze there for a period of four month, however, many of the alpine pastures and farm buildings are left to decay. Nevertheless, they are worth a visit and are situated at 1.200 to 2.000 m above sea level, for example the Steinkaseralm, the Gwannschafalm or the Stalsinsalm just to name a few.


Mining in the Voldertal valley

By the way, the Voldertal valley was famous for iron mining in the 17th and 18th century. Dilapidated structures such as decayed miner’s huts, rock shelters or stamp places for crushing the ore still bear witness to the mining history in the rear Voldertal today.

Hiking tours in the Voldertal valleyDetails

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