Earth pyramids near Terenten
The extraordinary pyramids aren’t man-made, but formed by Mother Nature. In general, we have steep towers or cones composed of different material. A larger block of stone quasi poses as “helmet” and avoids that the whole column is eroded.
In South Tyrol the phenomenon of earth pyramids (also referred to as tent rock or fairy chimney) can be found not only in Terenten, but also in Platten near Percha, in Ritten, Mölten, Dorf Tirol and Steinegg.
Formation of earth pyramids
In Terenten supposedly a disastrous thunder-storm in the 1830s was the crucial factor. The stream of the village destroyed numerous buildings and washed a lot of stones and earth away. After that rainfall and snow water continued to shape the hilly ground and dug hollow and gorges between heavier pieces of rock. During warm and dry periods the remaining soil under the protective stones dried and hardened and in the course of the time there were formed the characteristic, up to 30 m high columns.
Some day the stone at the top breaks away. Then the tower is again at the mercy of erosion and the pyramid will become smaller and smaller ant finally it will completely disappear. However, at the same time there will develop also new tent rocks.
Walking tours to the earth pyramids
A visit to the earth pyramids is an exciting experience, especially for kids – thus best conditions for a pleasant hike with the whole family. Starting in the village centre of Terenten, the shortest way takes about 40 minutes, including an altitude difference of about 230 m.
There are two more possibilities to reach the fairy chimneys of Terenten by foot: Either the slightly longer and circular nature trail that passing some worth-seeing historical mills or the enjoyable biotope path.