Holidays in Franzensfeste
The small village of Franzensfeste in the narrow part of middle Eisacktal Valley was named after the eponymous fortress. Franzensfeste is majorly known as railway junction as well as an ideal place for a travel stopover.
The municipality Franzensfeste is the southernmost village of the Wipptal and it includes also the hamlets Oberau, Mittewald and Grasstein – starting points for many hikes through the surrounding mountains. Due to its central position, Franzensfeste is generally a good point of departure for excursions to all directions, such as to the episcopal city of Brixen, hikes and bike tours.
For active travellers
Franzensfeste is surrounded by steep valley flanks. In the northeast, there are the southern peaks of the Zillertal Alps, whereas the Sarntal Alps can be found in the southwest: both are ideal for magnificent hiking tours and summit experiences. A famous destination for excursions is Lake Puntleider.
Cyclists can access Brenner cycle path directly from Franzensfeste or discover as well the cycle path leading across Pustertal Valley. Climbers will look forward to the climbing park above the fortress.
History & culture in Franzensfeste
The imposing Franzensfeste fortress is located above the water reservoir of the same name. It was built by command of emperor Ferdinand I. during the first half of the 19th century, in order to protect the important north-south-link. Today, the impressive fortress is part of the provincial museums of South Tyrol and shows changing exhibitions for instance. Time and time again, there are concerts and events.
In fact, the area around Franzensfeste has been a transit area much earlier – proved by the remains of the ancient Via Raetia as well as several coins found along the ancient Roman road.
Another place of historical significance can be found a bit north of Franzensfeste, between the districts of Grasstein and Mittewald: the Sachsenklemme. During the Tyrolean freedom fight in 1809, the enemy troops such as Frenchmen, Saxons and Thuringian were lead into trap at this narrow part of Eisacktal by 500 Tyrolean guided by Andreas Hofer. Here, they were welcomed with rocks, tree trunks and bullets. Today, right at this place there is a popular tavern with in-house brewery.