Small town in the province of Bolzano, located on a large plateau of Valle di Tures Aurina, surrounded by lush pine forests, Gais encompasses scenic beauty and remarkable architectural heritage, all just 5Km from Brunico.
The name - one of the few not to have been subjected to forced Italianization during Fascism - derives from the Indo-Germanic root "Ghid" which indicates a "floodplain".
The discovery of archaeological remains on Gaisinger Pipe and on the forecourt of the castle Chela / Kehlburg testifies beyond doubt that settled in the valley of human settlement since prehistoric times. Mentioned for the first time in official documents dated 985, in 1014 the village was given by Emperor Henry II to the episcopate of Bamberg, who founded a church alone, even transferring the parish seat, which initially represented a political unit, then subject to division into three judicial offices. Following further unifications and dismemberment lasted centuries, the municipality of Gais was reconstituted permanently until 1928.
Gais is an attractive destination for tourist stay in the summer season, when you can bathe in the waters of a small and charming natural lake, and in the winter, when the bleached landscapes evoke the emotion of the visitor. Lovers of winter sports, in addition, can easily reach the ski area Plan de Corones, Speikboden and Klausberg.
Sites of interest:
- the archaeological sites of Gaisinger Pipe and the plateau in front of the castle Chela / Kehlburg;
- the Castel Neuhaus (new house), built by the Lords of Tures in the mid-thirteenth century. It retains its original layout the main tower and part of the outer wall, the rest, however, was rebuilt from scratch, reusing the ruins of the building. It is currently privately owned. Near the castle are the remains of a bath, used until the twenties of the XX century, fed by the waters of two local sources.
- the Castle of Chela / Kehlburg, dating from the XII century, is located above the Valle di Tures and the town of Brunico, in ruins since 1944 following a fire;
- the ruins of the Castle of Villa Ottone clinging to a rocky outcrop;
- the Parish Church of St. John the Evangelist, despite the changes it has undergone over the centuries has preserved over time its distinctive Romanesque. Already mentioned in 990, is a basilica plan with three naves ending in semicircular apses, remains of wall paintings dating from the XIII century were brought to light during the recent restoration. Interesting, finally, the wooden masterpieces of the XVI and XVIII centuries, including a crucifix and a mercy.
- the Chapel of the cemetery, in which you can admire frescoes dating from the XI century, attributed to the artist Michael Pacher;
- the Chapel of the Visitation of Mary, admirably restored in the early XVII century, is flanked by a XIII century Bell Tower;
- the Chapel of St. Erasmus, which has been known since the XII century, a time rich in works of art and vestments, was recently the subject of vandalism and robberies;
- the Parish Church of St. Margaret, in the village of Villa Ottone, built in fine Baroque style and flanked by a Bell Tower embellished with a double onion drum roof;
- the Chapel of St. Valentine, in the village of Villa Ottone, built in Romanesque style with fine XIII century wall paintings, brought to light during the recent restoration work;
- the XVI century Church of the 14 Holy Helpers in the village of Mühlbach, built in the Gothic style and flanked by a tall steeple spire. Outside is proudly displayed an XVIII century painting, while the interior is worth visiting the altarpiece of the second half of the XVII century;
- the small Gothic Church of Montassilone, dedicated to Saints Chrysanthus and Daria;
- the curious Museum of firefighter helmets at the Hotel Burgfrieden, which exposes on display more than 600 different firefighter helmets.