Monday, August 24, 2009
in dialect: Ciastel da Andrac; in Italian: Castello di Andraz
In the Dolomite's Agordino area, the recently restored Andraz Castle still stands over the route to Falzarego. Built around 1027 A.D., it had a military and administrative function and was controlled by the cardinals of Bressanone.
Seven centuries later, during the Serenissima reign, the castle controlled the area's mining routes from Monte Pore which produced high-quality iron which was used to weld swords across Europe. It is said that even the Scots used the Veneto iron for their weapons during their rebellion in the VIII century. Wood was also very valuable from that area because the trunks of trees from Cadore, an area north of the castle, provided the pile foundations for the buildings in the Venice lagoon. Particular trees would fossilize once underwater and therefore were fundamental to the foundation of Venice. Andraz watched over the movement of both resources.
After over one hundred years of neglect and destruction incurred during WWI's intense fighting in the area, Andraz Castel has been restored and awaits your visit!
It is located outside of the town Livinallongo del Col di Lana, in the fraction of Castello, along the Falzarego pass which connects Alleghe to Cortina.
There is also an old mill nearby which can be seen in the picture above.
I highly recommend having a picnic or barbeque along the stream that runs next to the castle. Park your car and walk north for 2 minutes along the trail that follows the stream. There is already a little fire area set up for your barbeque needs!
And if you are also a rock climber, you can do some practice runs in the natural gym just off the road, also next to the castle. After lunch, a little exercise could help burn off some of those sausage calories!
For great images of the castle with a 360° view, go to: