On both sides of the Val Pusteria-Pustertal valley, the high mountains rise up like protective walls against the fast life, and thus the clocks behind them seem to run just a little bit slower than elsewhere. A good many old handicrafts have been preserved over the centuries. And today, when the yearning for authenticity, for originality, for genuineness and naturalness has become greater and greater, they are experiencing a Renaissance.
Today, the loden coat is a classic article of clothing in South Tyrol-Südtirol. It is something noble in and of itself. Over the years, it has advanced to being a refined, popular fabric. Once, it was only shepherds and farmers who wore it, for practical reasons: loden is made from sheep’s wool that is felted in order to make it impermeable to water. Once tradition, now trend. A variety of traditional costume shops and boutiques as well as the Mössmer loden factory are a testament to the fact that in the Kronplatz region, loden has a tremendous history and yet remains completely modern.
The bobbins nimbly clatter and the busy tangle of threads constantly finds its order, turning into a sheer doily whose delicateness is just as fascinating today as it was back when counts, priests, and kings decorated their fine garments with it. There is a long tradition in the Valle Aurina-Ahrntal of lace making. When the copper mine in Predoi-Prettau had to close down, the valley was threatened with poverty. With lace making, the inhabitants of the valley managed to keep their heads above water, and necessity turned into real art that has been maintained up to this very day.
But for generations, the Valle Aurina has also been synonymous with the art of woodcarving. Thus everywhere in the Kronplatz region, crèche figures are made with loving attention to detail, and statues, declarations, and wooden jewelry are on display and offered for sale, giving off a wonderful perfume of fresh wood.