Innichen has many faces...
The Hofmark (hamlet) Innichen in South Tyrol lies at the foot of Mount Haunold and can take pride in its long-standing and, at times, even violent history:
The Romans were the first to settle in the area and thus gave the place its bedrock of civilisation. After the collapse of the Roman Empire and throughout the following Middle Ages, changes of great magnitude occurred. One of the most important being the Barivarii who brought Christianity to the place and who were obviously also responsible for building the first monastery.
At its height Innichen even had its own jurisdiction and consequently made the neighbouring villages utterly depended on it. Apart from the many old houses and the architecturally outstanding pedestrian zone, it is especially the three churches that give testimony to the enormous wealth and influence.
...and three churches...
The smallest of the three is part of the Franciscan Monastery which is in fact still being administered by monks. The second church is a Baroque Basilica dedicated to St. Michael that of course is also well worth a visit, but the real landmark is the Collegiate Church which is generally simply referred to as the ‘Dome of Innichen’.This Romanic edifice does not only house the Kreuzigungsgruppe (depiction of the Passion of Christ / the crucifixion) or the fresco cupola, but also the relict of the giant Haunold. The giant who allegedly dwelt on a nearby mountain (which nowadays bears his name) is said to have given the locals a hand with building the enormous dome. In return he was to receive a calf and a barrel of wine every day as a reward. The locals however refused to entertain him any longer beyond the actual work and laid out a trap for him. His ribcage that you will find in the church illustrates how huge the giant had supposedly been.
But these are by no means the only treasures that you can find in Innichen.
...and one skiing resort
And the In winter, for example, the mountain Haunold transforms into a skiing or bobsledding paradise. In summer it is also a very popular destination for excursions and if you want to give your feet a rest, you can have the cable car take you to the peak and go downhill on a summer bobsled!
Even when you walk you will find plenty of places where you actually ‘have to’ rest – at least you ought to stop by the ruins of the ancient Wildbad (‘wild bath’) which has become very famous because of its spas. The atmosphere of the place itself a really worth a visit, even if the glory of the place is now a part of the past.