Burgeis Lage
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Burgeis im Vinschgau

Burgusio (in German: Burgeis, from the Retoroman/Roman “Burgus”) is Malles’ largest hamlet and can be found at 1,216m above sea level in Val Venosta, Alto Adige/South Tyrol. It lies at the foot of Mount Watles (2,557m) where the river Adige begins its course.

Its name comes from the Roman fort which served as a security check along the “Claudia Augusta” road which traverses the village. The Counts of Burgus-Wanga, whose coat of arms has been adopted by the village, probably also owe their name to this fort.
Burgusio has 828 inhabitants (March 2007), it lies 2.5km from Malles and is its largest hamlet. Burgusio is twinned with Lohr Am Main, Beilngries (Bavaria) and Weingarten (Wuerttemberg).

Der St. Michael Brunnen im malerischen Ortskern von Burgeis


Die Fürstenburg in Burgeis

Castel Principe

Castel Principe was built between 1272 and 1282 by the Bishop of Coira, Konrad, and was used as a refuge by Coira’s bishops. The tower with its 3m-thick walls is a must to visit, as is the Princes’ room and coffered ceiling.


History of Burgusio

The name of the village name comes from the Roman fort which served as a security check along the “Claudia Augusta” road which traverses the village. The Counts of Burgus-Wanga, whose coat of arms has been adopted by the village, probably also owe their name to this fort.

The village’s oldest records date to those kept by the Benedictine monks between 1320 and 1395. In the twelfth century Burgusio consisted of a number of farms dotted around the region who had to pay taxes to both the Monte Maria Abbey in Mustair and the Bishop of Coira who was head of the diocese of Val Venosta. In those times it seems there was also a convent dedicated to Saint Zeno which probably stood where the chapel is now. Goswin tells of a tower called “Burgus” or “Castellin”, situated between Castel Principe and the convent, which brings to mind the name of the village.

Mit Fresken bemalte Häuserfassaden in Burgeis
Kloster Marienberg in Burgeis

Monte Maria Abbey

The abbey was built in the twelfth century AD by a group of noblemen from Tarasp. It became a very important spiritual centre for the whole of upper Val Venosta, as it still is today. For a large part of the population of the area, Monte Maria Abbey was the centre of religion, culture and commerce. The abbey’s crypt was consecrated in 1160 by the Bishop of Coira, Adalgott, and was the first place of worship by means of choral prayer and Holy Mass in the area. The frescoes in the crypt are some of the most significant Roman works of art in the Alpine area. On the ground floor of the Abbey’s former commercial edifice there is now a museum which opened in 2007. Visitors to this museum can get a glimpse of daily life behind the convent walls. Some works of art have been displayed in the museum for the very first time, and they recall events which took place over the course of more than 900 years. To mark the 200th anniversary of the Tyrolean rebellion against the Franco-Bavarian forces in 1809, the museum also displays two letters written by the Tyrolean hero Andreas Hofer to the abbey, as well as pieces of silk from his flag. The letters were discovered not long ago in the abbey’s archives.


Santo Stefano

The church of Santo Stefano, situated near the Monte Maria Abbey, dates from the fifth century AD, although recent archaeological excavations have brought to light prehistoric findings at this site. It probably assumed the appearance it has today in the ninth or tenth century AD, as the type of lightshade hanging from the arches, the triangularly-shaped place for the choir and the triumphal arch testify. The perimeter wall is 1.5m thick. On the wall behind the choir, which is partly covered by the altar, there are frescoes which date from 1498 representing the coronation of Mary and the saints Stefanus and Laurentius. Around the window there is a painted decoration in the form of a climbing plant. The table of the altar dates from 1677; the sculptures from the church gable as well as the statues on either side dating from ca.1500 AD have been moved to Monte Maria Abbey in case of theft.

Der Pfaffensee im Wander- und Skigebiet Waltes in Burgeis

Lake Pfaffen

You can get to Lake Pfaffen by chairlift or on foot, first to mount Watles above Burgusio and then there is a nice path to follow. It takes about half an hour on foot from the Plantapatsch refuge to Lake Pfaffen and the walk offers splendid views of upper Val Venosta. The path then continues up to the cross of mount Watles.


Prati Organ

In the centre of Burgusio stands the parish church of the Sacred Conception, in which can be found a Baroque organ built by Carlo Prati between 1677 and 1678. This organ was originally built for the Monte Maria Abbey but after the convent closed in 1807 the Prati organ was sold at auction by Burgusio village council and remounted in the parish church. In 1874 Josef Aigner undertook restoration works on the organ, using Prati’s pipes for the facade and the very well-functioning organ case on which can be seen the date 1678 and the abbey’s coat of arms as well as that of Abbott Franz von Pasch.

Burgeis bei Mals
Burgeis und die Malser Heide im Herbst

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