&noscript=1 /> Gilfenklamm near Sterzing - South Tyrol Gilfenklamm near Sterzing - South Tyrol
Gilfenklamm: the only marble gorge in Europe
Gilfenklamm: the only marble gorge in Europe

Day trip destination


Gilfenklamm: the only marble gorge in Europe

Even those of a slightly nervous disposition can dare to enter the Gilfenklamm gorge near Sterzing on the newly-built walkways: a particularly impressive experience amidst rocky gorge and crashing waterfalls.

At the start of Ratschingstal valley, in the hamlet of Stange, the raw power of water has carved out a 15-metre-deep gorge in the rock over the course of millions of years. Nowadays, this gorge, the Gilfenklamm, is a protected natural monument.

The Ratschinger Bach stream whooshes over 175 metres in height down rock faces as high as towers and white marble until it thunders down over a series of steps in the form of a waterfall and flows into the Ridnauner Bach stream. Visitors may view the natural spectacle of the Gilfenklamm from close up on a secured path that leads to the heart of the gorge via a series of steps and narrow bridges. A walk for the whole family.

Amid lifeblood and elemental force

The stream rushes through the wild gorge. Water splashes against the rock faces, which are not quite as white as you'd expect from light marble – moss and lichen have coloured the stone green and black. Only the stones in the bed of the stream are a light colour. The little ones can splash around there and build little dams, while their parents can recharge their batteries in the exhilarating surroundings. This path is especially popular during the summer, as the water and rocks provide a way of cooling off. The Gilfenklamm gorge is rightly considered to be one of the finest accessible gorges in the Alps. In early summer in particular, when the snow on the mountains melts and the stream is swollen with more water than at other times of year, the 15-metre-high waterfall makes for a truly breathtaking sight.

Gilfenklamm: the only marble gorge in Europe

A way through the rocks

The Austrian Alpine Association laid the first secured footpath featuring a series of steps and bridges in 1896. At the time, the impressive Gilfenklamm gorge was named 'Kaiser Franz Josef Klamm'. There is a commemorative plaque along the way to remind us of this fact.

Even then, the gorge attracted thousands of visitors. In 1961, the path was refurbished. The pure, white marble around Ratschings was particularly valued in the old days. This marble was used back in Roman times and is has been worked into the supporting walls of the road into Ridnauntal valley. Construction elements from this marble may not only be found in the Gothic church at Sterzing, but also in the Hofkirche church at Innsbruck and in Schloss Schönbrunn castle in Vienna, as it was the material of choice for some sculptors fashioning monuments in Vienna.

In the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bozen, the famous Mithras stone from Sterzing is on display. This is a Roman relief made of marble from the Gilfenklamm gorge depicting the sun god Mithras and the holy bull. You can admire a copy of it in the inner courtyard of the town hall of Sterzing.

Adventure here we come

The name 'Gilf' is related to the word 'Golf' and originates from the Greek 'colpos', which means something like cove, breast, hollow or curve. You can reach the hollow of the Gilfenklamm by means of a path along the Jaufenbach stream in Stange. You hike uphill for around an hour, and downhill for three quarters of an hour.

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Farms near the Gilfenklamm
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Schoater flower flower
Fam. Braunhofer  | Ratschings  (Eisacktal valley)
Farm with organic farming, Livestock
Farm's own products: eggs, fresh vegetables in season, fresh fruit in season ...
Farm offers: Experience everyday life on the farm, Helping out in the barn, Barn visits ...
Distance 0,4 km
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Holiday flat from 60€ a night
Nestlhof flower flower flower
Fam. Nestl   | Sterzing  (Eisacktal valley)
Farm's own products: milk, eggs, seasoning ...
Farm offers: Experience everyday life on the farm, Barn visits, Experience the hay harvest
Distance 0,9 km
Position on Map
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Holiday flat from 100€ a night
Häuslerhof flower flower flower
Fam. Häusler  | Ratschings  (Eisacktal valley)
Farm's own products: speck
Distance 1,0 km
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Holiday flat from 60€ a night
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Further information

Racines Tourism
Via Giovo 1
39040 Ratschings/Racines
Operation Schedules
General description

Cutting through pure white marble, which used to be coveted by stonemasons from all over the world and which shimmers here in every conceivable shade of green, the otherwise peaceful Ratschinger Bach stream becomes a raging torrent. By going down steep steps and over narrow bridges, you can get right down to the heart of the gorge, where a breathtaking natural scene awaits. The lower entrance to the Gilfenklamm gorge is in Stange/Stanghe, from where you walk along a level hiking trail to the entrance to the gorge, where the trail begins to climb gradually over bridges and along well-secured trails. Storming and raging, the wild waters of the Ratschinger stream tumble over numerous waterfalls, forcing themselves through narrow chasms between the steep cliff walls, which ensure that at the lowest, most impressive point - the so-called "church" - even the most dazzling sunshine is dimmed. Going from one bridge to another and up and down steps, you finally reach the end of the gorge. If you take your time, have good shoes and a camera, this hike is a memorable experience for all the family.

Public transport
Linienbus 319 Sterzing/Vipiteno - Ratschings/Racines
Linenbus 312  Sterzing - Ridnaun/Ridanna (until Stange)