On a hike to the Spronser Lakes, the route leads straight through an ancient sacred mountain site on the Pfitscher Schartl wind gap.
In 1933, the artist Josef Tscholl discovered an ancient place of worship at 2,130 metres above sea level that is unique in South Tyrol. Its discovery was the start of the cup stone research still being undertaken in South Tyrol today.
Numerous cup stones from the Bronze age
are strung together right by the edge of the path on the Pfitscher Schartl.
There are no fewer than 1,300 cup shapes spread over 40 stone slabs
. Almost all of the cup stones can be found within the remains of walls in the shape of a pentagon. In addition to the general round depressions, a variety of different figures were also ground out of the stones by hand. The cup shapes on the “star slab”, for example, are believed to have an astronomical meaning. Different symbols are thought to represent the sun, moon and stars.
As well as the cup stones, rock paintings also bear witness to the importance of this pass road during Ötzi’s time
The exact meaning of the mysterious cup stones is still being debated today. They may have been used for ritual acts or as sacrificial sites. Others, on the other hand, believe that they depict signs of the zodiac, calendars or a kind of original script for marking pathways.
Anyone not wishing to climb so high can also admire cup stones on the Merano High Path "Meraner Höhenweg" n° 24
at the Hochganghaus/Rifugio Valico
or on the Partschinser Sagenweg (Trail of Legends)