The first inhabitants of Partschins/Parcines settled there about 6,000 years ago. This was around the time of Ötzi, the famous iceman.
During the late Neolithic period and the Chalcolithic the first settlers on Partschins’ Sonnenberg mountain were simple hunter/gatherers, and later settled farmers.
They built small, primitive huts in secure, dry locations
on higher-altitude mountain slopes, since the river Etsch/Adige was originally wild
, untamed and inhospitable and, as pure marshland, the area nearby was uninhabitable.
The dwellings in the settlements were often secured with circular earthworks. The prehistoric people built places where they could worship their gods on hills and elevated spots.
The people of the Stone and Bronze Ages chose special places of spiritual power
for their religious activities and shamanic sacrificial offerings. They mainly selected high ground with expansive views of the valley for their holy sites. In pre-Christian times, people believed that these were the seats of the gods, and they felt closest to them there.
The best-known prehistoric settlements and places of worship, traces of circular earthworks, cupped stones and cave dwellings in Partschins are located close to the Partschins Waalweg irrigation channel path, near the Golderskofel viewing point, near the Ebnerhof in Tabland, by the “Unterwenter Rast” site of worship on the Sonnenberg, and near the Schutzhaus Hochganghaus on the Meraner Höhenweg High Altitude Trail near the famous Spronserseen Lakes.
The remains of these prehistoric places
of worship and dwelling can be appreciated on a hike along the Partschins Waalweg (irrigation channel path)
and the Sagenweg (legends trail)
. These sites are signposted with information boards (symbol: stone age huntsman)
and descriptions are available in the Partschins and Rabland tourist information office or can be downloaded here as PDF file.