San Osvaldo, Castelrotto, South Tyrol
San Osvaldo is a fraction of the community of Castelrotto with about 140 inhabitants (as at 31/12/2022: 143 inhabitants). The part of the community is located to the south of Tagusa at an altitude of about 750 meters above sea level. The creek of Castelrotto and the distinctive mountain ridge of Percoll limits the area of San Osvaldo, which spreads with its slopes up to the Valle Isarco.
To San Osvaldo – in German: St. Oswald – you get either on the narrow road branches of from the street Ponte Gardena - Castelrotto. Alternatively, if you come from the other side, you can also take the road leading below the market square of Siusi allo Sciliar to San Osvaldo.
San Osvaldo – past and present
Already two thousand years BC (before Christ), the area of San Osvaldo was been settled. There should be prehistoric settlement places (for example the Decker- and Heidenbühel, the Porzner, the Buhinbühel or Lafogler) which refer to this long colonization of the present-day San Osvaldo.
San Osvaldo itself is very quiet and less frequented by tourism. The surrounding nature make the place seem to be very originally. So today it isn´t difficult to imagine how the residents of San Osvaldo had to work in agriculture still exclusively by hand, for example at the hay harvest, in the vineyard, in stable and barn. Today, however, the "technology" in San Osvaldo has arrived. Thus, the agricultural work is now supported mainly by mowers and tractors. The dairy industry is an important source of income of San Osvaldo – for that the cornfields are no longer available.
For anyone who wants to choose an "original" destination the village of San Osvaldo is perfect. You are far away from daily stress. These facilities provide ideal conditions for a "Farm Holidays" with the guarantee of absolutely tranquility in a wonderful environment.
The museum in San Osvaldo
In the “Tschötscherhof” you can find agricultural equipment from the past. The farm is 500 years old. The owner of the farm wants to show in their exhibition the lives and beliefs of the farmers in Castelrotto several centuries ago. The interested visitors can convince themselves of the hard life of the farmers of Castelrotto.
Exhibited are, for example, old agricultural machinery, household and craft tools and equipment for their wool production. From Thursday to Tuesday, the museum is open for visitors from March to November.
The church of San Osvaldo
The fraction of Castelrotto has the name from the local church, which has consecrated to San Osvaldo. The Holy Oswald was a Britain king. A raven should have brought the engagement ring to his bride. The Holy Osvaldo was been murdered because of his faith.
The church was been founded in the Roman period. Today's frescoes of the church go back to the Gothic period. At that time, the family of Wolkenstein (Selva di Val Gardena) has reshaped the church. In the 1970s, the church was been restored. After the restoration, the paintings are very much noticeable. The paintings came from the school of the master painter Leonhard from Bressanone. If you have the opportunity to visit the inside of the church, you should take the chance. The church is preserved very well. A high altar picture, an oil painting by Franz Sebald Unterberger, embosses the altar. The oil painting dates back to the first half of the 18th Century.
A pond is near the church. This pond together with the church and the mountains Santner and Euringer is an excellent photo opportunity, which is often been taken for publicity photos.
The Fuschghof in San Osvaldo
The best-known farm of the Altipiano dello Sciliar among the fans of the “Kastelruther Spatzen” is located in San Osvaldo – namely Fuschghof. Norbert Rier, the singer and leader of the Kastelruther Spatzen lives with his family on this farm.
The leader of the group have many visitors at his farm especially at times when the Kastelruther Spatzen giving a concert in her home-village.
The ruin Aichach
There are three ruins in the Altipiano dello Sciliar. One of them is in San Osvaldo. The ruin Aichach is been hidden behind a courtyard and offers a magnificent view to the mountains Santner and Sciliar.
The Pflegerhof farm
The Pflegerhof farm is close to the ruin Aichach is. Because of herb cultivation, this farm is very famous in other countries. The popularity of the herb farm and its farmer Martha Mulser further increased enormously by some television documentaries, which were broadcast in Europe.
The herb cultivation began in the early 1980s. At first, the herbs began to grow on the farm fields of the Pflegerhof on a small area and now the fields have an impressive size of five acres. For interested people who want to learn more about the herb cultivation and about 80 different herbs the Pflegerhof offers a guided tour. These tours take place in the months of May to October.
Of course, you can buy the herbs and the large number of about 500 medicinally and aromaticly young plants. The range of the products includes, for example, herbal teas and beauty products that was been produced from the herbs. The products of the Pflegerhof farm are been sold in the shops of the entire Altipiano dello Sciliar additionally. It is also possible to order the products online on https://www.pflegerhof.com.
The Pflegerhof farmer´s wife, Mrs. Martha Mulser, was been awarded by the "South Tyrolean of the year" in 2002. With this title/this award, Martha Mulser was been honoured by the readers of the magazine company "The South Tyrolean" for the development of their agricultural operation.
In San Osvaldo, you can found an extraordinary natural phenomenon – the so-called ice holes. The ice holes are developing from the cold airflows, which came out of the rock blocks and finally "lie" on the ground. Because of this, there are significant temperature differences in the narrowest space. Even in midsummer, there exists very cold temperatures in the ice holes. Many species of plants from different vegetation zones have their home in the ice holes and can flourish here in a confined space together.
The ice holes are located in the meadow calling "Madrunglfuchsboden".