puflatsch hexenbaenke
puflatsch hexenbaenke

Witches’ Benches on Mt. Bullaccia

Above Castelrotto and the Alpe di Siusi there are various places where the Sciliar Witches practised their craft

Taking a sober view, they are basalt columns rising on the far western edge of the Bullacia, a 4 km wide plateau which separates the Alpe di Siusi from the Val Gardena. However, these pentagonal pillars are shaped in a way that they form a double seat on which two people can sit. Armrests, backrests, seats and footrests are all part of this Witch's Armchair, also called Witches' Benches. There are various legends and myths surrounding this extraordinary place: It is said that witches' dances and magic cults took place here up to the Middle Ages, but it is probably of natural origin.

About 800 metres below, above Tiosels in Castelrotto (1,378 m a.s.l.), on the other hand, there are some Witches' Chairs surrounded by a coniferous forest. Also these porphyry blocks, which weigh several tonnes, are like a 2-metre-high armchairs made of dolomite that is covered with moss at the back. The Witches' Benches on Mt. Bullaccia (Hexenbänke am Puflatsch) as and these Witches' Chairs (Hexenstühle) are designated as natural monuments of the municipality of Castelrotto.

And how can the Witches' Benches be reached? The hike from Castelrotto to the Witches' Benches leads you first to the Schafstall Hut, then to the Arnika Mountain Hut - a rest point with sun terrace on Mt. Bullaccia - and finally to the mythical Witches' Benches. In winter, you may bring a sledge, and start from Compaccio on the Alpe di Siusi the winter hike on the Bullaccia. So you might see the legendary Sciliar Witches which are held responsible for the storms in the area?!

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