Val Gardena

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Val Gardena is located in Italy
Val Gardena
Location in South Tyrol, Italy
The Stevia range above Val Gardena
Accidents like the one depicted were frequent among the farmers collecting timber in the woods during harsh winters in Gherdëina
Woodcarving in Gherdëina. Around 1900 when carving of statues of Catholic saints was at its bloom
Carved gallant genre scene in Swiss Pine with figurines from Val Gardena 18th century

Gherdëina (Ladin: [ɡʀ̩ˈdɜi̯na] (About this soundlisten); Italian: Val Gardena [ˌval ɡarˈdeːna; -ˈdɛːna];[1][2] German: Gröden [ˈɡrøːdn̩]) is a valley in Northern Italy, in the Dolomites of South Tyrol. It is best known as a skiing, rock climbing, and woodcarving area.


The valley's main river is the Derjon. The three municipalities in Gherdëina are Urtijëi, Sëlva, and Santa Cristina; they were served by the Fërata de Gherdëina from 1916 until 1960.


Gherdëina is one of five valleys with a majority of Ladin speakers (two of these valleys are in South Tyrol). The form of the Ladin language spoken in this valley is called Gardenese in Italian, Grödnerisch in German and Gherdëina in Ladin.


The woodcarving industry has flourished in Gherdëina since the 17th century. Since the 19th century, statues and altars carved in the area have been shipped to Catholic churches throughout the world. In the 18th century, besides religious statuettes, the production of wood-carved figurines of genre art was widespread in the valley. Among them statuettes of beggars generally in pairs (female and male), four seasons, watchstanders were very popular. In the 19th and 20th century, carving of wooden toys was such a widespread occupation in all Gardenese families that Amelia Edwards called Urtijëi the "capital of Toyland."[3] One of the valley's best-known products is the peg wooden doll which was popular all over Europe and America in the 19th century.

In one of her many trips Margaret Warner Morley went to Europe to Gherdëina where she was inspired to write the novel Donkey John of the toy valley.[4]

The Parish Church of Urtijëi displays a rich collection of statues carved by local artists in the last two centuries. The Museum Gherdëina in Urtijëi owns a rich collection of historical wooden toys[5] and woodcarved statues and figurines.[6]



The valley hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1970.

Gherdëina is home to the Saslong Classic, a men's World Cup downhill race that has been held almost every year since 1969. Since 2002 (and in 1983), the downhill has been paired with a super G race, and from 1979 to 1982 a combined event was held.[7] The Saslong course is considered one of the five "classic" men's downhill races, along with Garmisch-Partenkirchen's Kandahar (GER), Kitzbühel's Hahnenkamm (AUT), Wengen's Lauberhorn (SUI), and Val d'Isere's Criterium (FRA).[8] It is well known for the "Camel Humps" (or "Bumps"), a series of three small jumps which racers must negotiate in quick succession. Two men have won the Saslong title four times in a career: Austrian Franz Klammer (1975, two races in 1976, and 1982) and Italy's Kristian Ghedina (1996, 1998, 1999, and 2001). If super G wins are also included, two other men have matched that feat: Peter Müller of Switzerland and Austrian Michael Walchhofer.[9]

A women's slalom and parallel slalom were also held in 1975.[10]

Gherdëina is part of the Sella Ronda alpine ski touring circuit.

Other sports[edit]

The Gardena Spring Trophy is an annual international figure skating competition held every spring in the Valley.

Gherdëina has a Serie A ice hockey team, the HC Gherdëina.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Amelia Edwards. Untrodden peaks and unfrequented valleys. A midsummer ramble in the Dolomites. Longman's, Green and Co. London 1873.
  • Margaret Warner Morley. Donkey John of the toy valley. Chicago A. C. McClurg & Co. 1909.[11]


  1. ^ "Gardena", Dizionario d'Ortografia e di Pronunzia.
  2. ^ "Gardena", DiPI Online.
  3. ^ "Amelia Edwards. Untrodden peaks and unfrequented valleys (1873) - published online". Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  4. ^ "''Donkey John of the toy valley'' - online book". Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  5. ^ "Museum Gherdëina historical wooden toys". Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  6. ^ "Statues and figurines in the Museum Gherdeina". Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  7. ^ "Ski DB". Ski DB. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  8. ^ "Club 5". Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  9. ^ "Ski DB". Ski DB. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  10. ^ "Ski DB". Ski DB. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  11. ^ "Margaret Warren Morley. Donkey John of the toy valley - online book". Retrieved 2012-01-10.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°33′36″N 11°42′17″E / 46.56000°N 11.70472°E / 46.56000; 11.70472