St. Veit in Defereggen
St. Veit, the highest located municipality of East Tyrol, is part of the National Park Hohe Tauern.
Altitude: 1,495 m asl
Bruggen, Görtschach, Gassen, Gritzen, Gsaritzen and Moos are part of the municipality of St. Veit in Defereggen. Already since 200 AC farmers from the Virgental valley used the area in the heart of the Defereggental valley as pasture-land. In 1313 AD St. Veit was mentioned for the first time. Despite of its high location potatoes and corn were cultivated in the village, located on the sunny side of the valley. Today St. Veit in Defereggen is mainly a holiday resort which is known beyond borders.
Part of the municipal territory that includes 61 sqkm are also some side valleys, and about one forth also belongs to the National Park Hohe Tauern. The educational nature and culture trail called “life on the steep slope” (Leben am Steilhang) that was established by the national park is highly recommendable. Starting point is the village of St. Veit, and along this trail the hard lives of mountain farmers are highlighted and interesting information on corn cultivation and milling are provided, e.g. in the Holzer mill at Bruggen. Along the stations of the cross this circular trail takes you back to St. Veit. We recommend you to schedule about 3 hours. In winter, however, the Brunneralm skiing area in the nearby village St. Jakob in Defereggen offers 50 km of well-groomed ski slopes.
Those who are interested in culture are recommended to visit the Gothic parish church that can be seen from afar. It is located at an altitude of 1,500 m asl and is thus one of the highest located parish churches of Tyrol, first mentioned in 1313. Only the presbytery and the steeple could be preserved from the ancient church. The Mediaeval frescoes, dating back to the 15th century, are a real treasure! By the way: the martyry of the patron saint St. Veit is illustrated on the emblem of the municipality, where the saint is shown sitting in a kettle. Likewise worth to be visited are several chapels in the surroundings of the village, such as the St. Florian chapel at Bruggen, the Visitation of Mary chapel of Zotten, which is a miniature issue of a typical Tyrolean Baroque church, as well as the Mater Dolorosa chapel at Moos. The inhabitants attach great importance to culture and tradition and for this reason also the religious feast days are celebrated with six processions in the course of the year.
Our recommendation: the Defereggental valley has got its own mustard, the “Deferegger Senf”. Taste it in its multitude of flavours such as rustic, honey-dill or huckleberry!