Mine in South Tyrol with a dark past

Mine in South Tyrol with a dark past

2023-06-04 11:17:57

Fmorning at the end of the Ridnaun valley South-Tirol, at the very back, begins a journey towards the light – and into the darkness. In a minibus we go up the slope, between dark green, dewy stone pines, spruces and larches. The sandy path is dusty, the eye occasionally catches a glimpse of the gray monster – an ore processing plant. legacy of the industrial revolution. Machines broke and crushed the rock that was taken from the rock. Today the complex is part of a museum. A small part. The greater is the snow mountain itself, which punctured. And St. Martin, once the highest permanent settlement in Europe. For several centuries, miners dug for mineral mixtures inside the massif. First with fire, then with mallet and iron, finally with black powder, finally with dynamite. Above, behind the yoke, they lived at 2355 meters above sea level, far above the forest, just below the peaks. Some sections of the underground labyrinth of paths and tunnels are still accessible today. It is 150 kilometers long in total – spread over several floors, it stretches from one side of the mountain to the other.

Step by step, Verena Wurzer hikes almost vertically towards the summit that surrounds us. In the summer, the history student accompanies tourists over the mountain – and into it, through it. The former life in the tunnel settlement is the historical topic that the 27-year-old can’t let go of. But research is tough. “It’s difficult to get information,” she says, “one doesn’t talk about St. Martin. And yet the village is still present. In the memories In dreams.” Crickets chirp, grasshoppers jump, cotton grass gently sways in the pleasantly fresh breeze. Pure beauty? No, human crimes have eaten their way into the idyll like incurable scars: rail braking paths hewn into the slope, horizontal horse ramps, a rusted material cable car.

#South #Tyrol #dark


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