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  3. Myths and legends
  4. The red mountain

The red mountain

Due to their pale-grey color the Dolomites are known also as „pale mountains“. However right in the middle there rise some strikingly red rocks.

Mt. Hohe Gaisl (in Italian Croda Rossa d’Ampezzo) is located between Prags and Höhlensteintal, at the frontier between South Tyrol and Belluno. Long time ago it didn’t differ from the other mountains all around. At that time a lonely Anguana - a forest and water women - lived between the ragged rocks and she was accompanied only by the marmots.

One day a woman with a child came along, but Anguana couldn’t speak to her, because the stranger immediately dropped dead. The Anguana put the child, a girl, up and called her Moltina. She grew up, made friends with the marmots, learned their language and was even able to take their form.

Some years later the prince of the royal house Landrines went hunting into the forest. There he saw Moltina and at first sight he fell in love, but she run away. The prince searched her everywhere and finally he met the Anguana. She allowed the prince to marry Moltina and to take her to his castle. Initially the royal court wasn’t stoked by the prince’s choice, but in the end he succeeded to resolve all doubt.

Moltina was very glad and told everybody about her luck: the marmots, the pastures and flowers, even the rocks that shared her happiness and heated. According to Anguana the mountain was mysteriously connected with her destiny and it would always feel with her.

The marmot girl in the castle

The prince and the marmot girl got married and lived in the castle. One day there was organized a great celebration and the bad queen of the Bedoyeres called on all to tell about their home and their forefathers. As it was Moltina’s turn, she wasn’t able to say anything and her face turned blazing red, because she was so ashamed.

At the same time took on red color and astonished everybody. Moltina broke away from the castle and till the end of her life she never came back, because the dread was insuperable. Therefore Mt. Hohe Gaisl maintained its red color, too.

The prince however followed his beloved in the mountains. There they started a family and somewhat later they became the sovereigns of the Fanes. These powerful and notable people were living on the western part of the mountain and their heraldic animal was the marmot. 

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