Near Selva Gardena, high above the Val Gardena valley, stood a castle whose foundation stone was laid by a witch
Image gallery: Legend: The Castle at the Abyss
When the castle was to be built, the ground underneath began to crumble. So the lord of the castle sent the workers away, and at midnight a witch appeared to lay the foundation stone. The inhabitants all around heard a whimpering like that of a dying child. The walls were built, the castle rose mightily and impregnably above the Pinkan rock, and the owner took heavy tolls from passers-by on the path below, the Troi Paian, or threw them into the dungeon if they did not have enough money. Gardis, the granddaughter of the castle owner, also lived in the castle.
Always at midnight she heard some words, a sighing and the screaming of men. When she finally followed this up, she found a dungeon above the foundation walls: She fell in, and the prisoners told her about the castle's witchcraft spell. "A virgin is walled in under the foundation stone of this castle, and if a virgin dies in the castle again, the whole castle must collapse!" were the words that were always sighed at midnight. When the prisoners rebelled, the lord of the castle finally fell into the dungeon himself. Gardis, who had fallen in with him, was seriously injured, while the prisoners, who knew about the curse, fled. And really: When Gardis died, the castle fell into the abyss forever, along with the lord of the castle and his granddaughter.
Today, far lower down in this area, stands Stetteneck Castle, which, however, should have nothing to do with the legend. The Troi Paian, on the other hand, is an almost 8,000-year-old footpath through the Val Gardena valley, which is of great archaeological and cultural-historical importance.