Schnalstal Unser Frau
Schnalstal Unser Frau

Madonna di Senales

In the archeoParc Val Senales in Madonna di Senales you can practise archery and get to know the plants of Oetzi’s time

In the heart of the Val Senales, the largest village in the valley is located, recognisable from afar by the little church enthroned on the rock to the left of the road. It is the Church of Our Lady, a place of pilgrimage for more than 700 years and still well-known today. It is said that a statue of Our Lady was found on this very spot in the 14th century. A few houses around it form the centre of Madonna di Senales, called Unser Frau (Our Lady) in German, the rest of the village is scattered over the extensive meadows and slopes.

In the past, the route via the Oetztal valley to the Val Senales was the shortest connection between north and south from Augsburg. However, the area was already known thousands of years before, because Oetzi already walked through the mountains above Madonna di Senales 5,000 years ago. Only in 1991, the Eternal Ice released the glacier mummy at the Giogo di Tisa on Mt. Similaun and so laid the foundation for various events, theme trails and a museum - the archeoParc Val Senales in the village - which today follow Oetzi's footsteps and tell about his life and the Neolithic Age.

Impressive tours lead from here to destinations such as the Lafetz Mountain Hut - also doable as snowshoe hike - and the mighty Mt. Similaun. A mountain tour is also undertaken every year by the approximately 3,000 sheep that start in June in the Val Senales and then walk in two days over snowfields and rocky gullies to Vent in Austria. This old tradition of sheep movement, called transhumance, has been included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage List. In the cold months, the skiing area on the Val Senales Glacier, the Alpin Arena Senales, is only a few km away.

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