Above Castelrotto and the Alpe di Siusi there are various places where the Sciliar Witches practised their craft
Image gallery: Witches’ Benches on Mt. Bullaccia
Taking a sober view, they are basalt columns rising on the far western edge of the Bullacia, a 4 km wide plateau at more than 2,000 m a.s.l. However, these pentagonal pillars are shaped in such a way that they form exactly a double seat on which two people can sit. Armrests, backrests, seats and footrests are all part of this Witch's Chair (also called Witches' Benches - "Hexenbänke" in German, "Panche delle Streghe" in Italian), which makes it unique and a popular excursion destination. Of course, there are various legends and myths surrounding this extraordinary place...
It is said that witch dances and magic cults took place here until the Middle Ages, but it is probably of natural origin. About 800 m below it, above Tiosels near Castelrotto (1,378 m a.s.l.), on the other hand, there are some Witches' Chairs surrounded by the forest. These porphyry blocks, which weigh several tonnes, are also sometimes called Witches' Chairs: They are like a 2-metre-high armchair made of dolomite that is covered with moss at the back. Both places are designated as natural monuments of the municipality of Castelrotto.
And how can the mystical places be reached? You can take a 4-hour excursion from Castelrotto to the Witches' Benches on Mt. Bullacia. As it is also a well-known vantage point, the hike is rewarded with a magnificent view on the Val Gardena valley, the Puez-Odle Group, the Sella Massif and the Dolomites of the Alpe di Siusi area. The hike from the mountain station of the Alpe di Siusi Cable Car is a bit shorter, and takes 3 hours to reach the Witches' Benches and back again. The Witches' Chairs, on the other hand, can be discovered in an easy tour from Castelrotto: They are located above the Tiosels farm group (path no. 8).