Hexentanz Wuerzjoch
Hexentanz Wuerzjoch

Witches’ Dance at the Passo delle Erbe

Every year, the witches dance at the almost 2,000 m high Passo delle Erbe mountain pass above San Martino in Badia.

For a long time, the witches were made responsible for severe thunderstorms in the valleys and on the mountains of South Tyrol, putting the inhabitants into fear and fright - that’s what the old legends tell. In the area of the majestic, 2,875 m high Mt. Sass de Putia in the Puez-Odle Nature Park, still today the witches meet in a full moon night in July. The place - to be precisely - is called Passo delle Erbe (Würzjoch), a mountain pass in the Dolomites, high above San Martino in Badia. And right there, the traditional coven is still celebrated with a folkloristic programme.

The wizards accompany the spectators to the slopes of Mt. Sass de Putia by telling old rural stories. The witches’ fires light up the South Tyrolean sky and the witches lose themselves in a wild dance on the meadows beneath the mountain. The event includes a farmers’ market and live music as well as old rural customs, whereas the mountain huts of the area offer Ladin and regional delicacies that you should definitely try. An unforgettable summer evening!

Also in other places the witches are still remembered: the malicious Sciliar Witches, for instance, are not only part of the legend of King Laurin, but they had also a good witch among them, named Marta. At Bullaccia in the area of the Siusi Alp, the Witches’ Benches can be found - a natural but rather strange rock formation. Sad reality is, however, that in Medieval times some nine women around Fiè were sentenced to death as they were said to be witches and weather makers.

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