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Art, Culture and Tradition

The ladin language

When the locals talk to each other, they mostly speak a language called Ladin. The origins of the language go back to the Roman Empire, when the legions marched into Rhaetia. The Latin of the conquerors was mixed with the language of the native Rhaetians. During more than four centuries of Roman rule, this Rhaetian language spread from the Swiss Alps to the Adriatic. When the Germanic tribes of the Bavarians and Alemanni moved south in the 6th century, the area of the Rhaetian language was split up, leaving enclaves in which the language has survived against all obstacles right down to the present day, e.g. in the canton of Grisons, in the Dolomites (Val Gardena, Val Badia, Val di Fassa, Livinallongo, Cortina) and Friuli.

Val Gardena wood carving. A long tradition.

The sense for art in Val Gardena is known all over the world, especially the sacral and profane wood carving art. Seeing with the hands, feeling with the eyes: this is how handcrafts become art. Feelings, imagination and will take shape. Wood carving has a long history in Val Gardena. It developed at the start of the 17th century in order to get through the long winters. Up to one hundred years ago, Val Gardena was still a secluded high-alpine valley, which was difficult to access. Hence, the inhabitants were forced to make a second income. Wood carving in winter, and distributing and selling all over the world in summer. Necessity developed into art, and the most precious pieces can be visited in the Ladin Museum.

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