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Burgraviate

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The Burgraviate (German: Burggrafenamt, Italian: Burgraviato) [1] is a South Tyrolean district located in the western part of the region which borders to the Vinschgau Valley to the west, to the South Tyrolean Wipp Valley, the Salten-Schlern and the Überetsch-South Tyrolean Unterland to the east, to Trentino to the south and to North Tyrol to the north. Its capital is Meran, the second largest town in South Tyrol after the regional capital city, Bolzano. The district has a population of about 90,000 and after the capital city - which is a district in its own - it's the most populated district in South Tyrol.

Cities[edit]

  • Meran — international and ancient health resort with a lot of charm
  • Lana — the second largest town in Burgraviate is a resort for relax
  • Naturns — small town and resort

Other destinations[edit]

Understand[edit]

The Burgraviate is the originary territory of Tyrol and already in the middle age it was an unitary district in the Tyrolean county. The district is composed by the Adige/Etsch Valley around the town of Meran in the middle and by the valleys surrounding the historical capital, which was the capital of Tyrol from 1418 to 1848 when it was deplaced to Innsbruck. Before Meran the administrative centre of the Tyrolean county was in the current small village of Tirol over the town. The name Burgraviate derives from the fact that the district was under control of a burgrave. The Tyrolean rebellion against Napoleon began in the Passeier Valley in the north where Andreas Hofer lived. However, while the rural areas are very catholic and conservative the town of Meran is an international town with Belle Epoque flair and a multicultural life - with the only synagogue in South Tyrol! The current administrative unit was formed in 1971 as an association of municipalities - the capital Meran was included just in 1986. The westernmost part of the Adige/Etsch Valley located in the Burgraviate is part of the geographical Vinschgau Valley but historically and politically it's part of the district.

The climate in the Burgraviate is of mild-continental type in the valley (expecially in Meran) and Alpine in the surrounding valleys. The climate in Meran and surroundings is very particular because it's the northernmost area in Europe where Mediterranean vegetation grows.

Talk[edit]

The Burgraviate is mostly German-speaking - 77.7% of the burgravial population speaks German as their mother tongue. Only 22.0% is Italian-speaking. Ladins are a very small minority at (0.3%). The Italian-speaking population is located primarily in Meran where the constitute about the half of the population and are they are also found in the Adige/Etsch Valley to the east. In the valleys Italian is not used by local population. However all road signs are bilingual with the majority language always listed first.

The Burgravial German dialect (Burggräflerisch) has particular features and there is a good literary production with the translation into dialect of The Little Prince (Dr kluane Prinz) or the Struwwelpeter. The Meran German dialect (Meranerisch) is an urban dialect which is closer to that spoken in Bozen or Brixen instead of the rest of the Burgraviate - however pronunciation is similar.

Get in[edit]

The Burgraviate is very well connected by public transportation expecially from Bolzano.

By train[edit]

If you want to reach the Burgraviate by train you have to change the train in Bolzano. If you want to go from Meran in the west you have to change the train again - however trains from Bolzano to Mals are increasing.

By bus[edit]

Tourist connections are available from Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland - this connections are operated by the German travel agency Südtirol Tours [2] or by the Swiss Südtirol Express [3]. From the Bolzano bus station there are connections to Meran every hour from early morning to the night. Buses from Bolzano to Meran stop also inside both cities.

By car[edit]

You have to exit at Bolzano South on motorway A22 and taking the the modern freeway with many exits along the road. On the freeway the speed limit is 110 km/h. From Bolzano to Merano there is a distance of 30 km.

By bike[edit]

Burgraviate is well connected by the bike trail system with the southern part of South Tyrol and the capital city.

Get around[edit]

Value Card[edit]

If you want to travel inside South Tyrol and so inside the Burgraviate by bus or by train you can buy the "Value Card" ("Wertkarte" or "Carta valore") for EUR 5.00, 10.00 or 25.00 and you will pay less with this card. In Meran and its metropolitan area this tickets can be bought also in general shops like bakeries, bars, restaurants, supermarkets, other retail stores and in the tourist offices. All dealers have identification stickers. In smaller places you can find them at bus stations. For more information check on the web site of the regional transport system web site [4].

By train[edit]

Only major places in the Adige Valley can be reached by train, however there are 12 train station in the whole burgravial Adige Valley.
Rail stations in the Burgraviate (the most important are written in bold): Rail line Bolzano-Meran

  • Vilpian-Nals
  • Gargazon
  • Lana-Burgstall
  • Meran Untermais
  • Meran

Rail line (Bolzano-)Meran-Mals

  • Algund
  • Marling
  • Töll Brücke
  • Rabland
  • Plaus
  • Naturns
  • Staben

The rail service from Bolzano to Meran is operated by the Italian Railway Company Trenitalia [5] - from Meran to Mals it's operated by the regional transportation agency SAD [6]. For information about timetables the web site for local transportation powered by the regional government [7] is the most detailed.

By bus[edit]

Meran is the major local hub for connections to other places in the Burgraviate. On local buses you can buy your ticket on board too.

You can get more information on the regional transport system web site [8] (also in English available) or on the bus society for transportation in urban areas [9] (only in German or Italian).

The Burgraviate district administration publishes a timetable of burgravial bus lines on paper and online [10]

By car[edit]

Also the most isolated village is well connected by the well-kept road system. Also without maps is possible to reach small places. However, if you get a map it's better. Pay attention on mountain roads.

By bike[edit]

Burgraviate has a well-developed bike trail system. On the web site of the regional government you can find the maps of the bike trail systems in South Tyrol divided by districts [11] (German and Italian).

See[edit][add listing]

Burgraviate is full of highlights.

  • Touriseum [12] (Tourism Museum) with the Gardens of Trauttmannsdorff Castle [13] in Meran
  • Tyrol Castle [14] with the museum of Tyrolean history and culture in Tirol, South Tyrol near Meran
  • MuseumPasseier [15] is the museum about Andreas Hofer's history in St. Leonhard in Passeier
  • Peter Mitterhofer Typewriter Museum [16] is a very particular museum about typewriter's history located in Partschins
  • St. Proculus Church is a small romanic church located in Naturns with the oldest frescoes in the German-speaking area

Do[edit][add listing]

Burgraviate is particularly qualified for active people and families.

  • Meran Thermal Baths [17] in Meran are located in a new luxury building designed by the architect Matteo Thun with indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
  • Families with children would prefer to go to the Erlebnisbad in Naturns with indoor swimming pools.
  • Kränzel Labyrinth Garden [18] in Tscherms near Meran is a funny experience, expecially for children.
  • There are two Golf clubs in the Burgraviate: in Lana and in the Passeier Valley.
  • You can riding in Hafling where the famous Haflinger horses are born.
  • Hiking, nordic walking and biking is possible everywhere.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Burgravial cuisine is typical Tyrolean with the same dishes you will find in the whole region. The most known regional product is the Meranerwurst, the typical Meran sausage. The Burgraviate is also the second apple producer district in South Tyrol - after the Vinschgau valley - so, apple strudels and pies are very popular.

In Meran you can find the Meranertorte which is similar to the Viennese Sachertorte - in Meran there are a lot of Viennese-style cafés. In the valleys you will find only typical Tyrolean Gasthäuser while in Meran there are more international and art cuisine restaurants. There are a lot of Italian and vegetarian restaurants in Meran. Generally, eating in Meran is more expensive than in other parts of the district. Fast food in the Burgraviate means hot dogs.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Beer is very popular in the Burgraviate where the only important South Tyrolean brewery is located - the Forst Beer in Forst near Meran. Wine production is less important than in other parts of South Tyrol, however quality is high. A popular drink among youngs is the so-called Fantalustig (pronounced Fanta-LU-shtig) which means happy Fanta and it's a mix between Fanta (orange or lemon) and white whine. There is a good production of grappa.

Night life in the Burgraviate is to be found only around Meran - but it's much more sleepy than the capital city, Bolzano. Pubs are located in all major centres, though. In Gargazon there is a popular disco called Après. In the area there are a lot of music groups.

Stay safe[edit]

The Burgraviate is very safe, however western South Tyrol is the area which is more affected by neonazi groups and bikers violence, but no violent episodes against tourists have been attested. During the night pay attention very much if driving.

South Tyrol is one of the Italian regions with less risk of earthquakes, however in western South Tyrol the risk of moderate earthquakes is higher.

Get out[edit]

This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




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