The Timmelsjoch connects the Ötztal valley in the Austrian state of Tyrol to the Passeier Valley in the Italian province of South Tyrol, as it bridges the saddle point between the Jochköpfl (3,141 m, 10,305 ft) and Wurmkogl (3,082 m, 10,112 ft) peaks
Timmelsjoch or Passo Rombo
Timmelsjoch or Passo del Rombo, 2509 meters above sea level, is saddle in the main ridge of the Alps, between the Brenner pass (1,375 meters above sea level) and Reschen (1,504 meters above sea level). Passo del Rombo is the only mountain pass in the border area of the Ötztal and Stubai Alps, which has no glaciers. This mountainous area has over a hundred glaciers and also more than one hundred peaks, which reach over three thousand meters.
The road that across Timmelsjoch is one of the most scenic mountain direction travel in the eastern Alps. The pass of Timmelsjoch is open during the summertime from mid-June to mid-October, but at night it is closed. The saddle of Timmelsjoch connect the Austrian and Italian Tyrol. The starting point to the saddle is located in the north of the Inn valley and the town of Meran in the Adige valley.
The towns are connected by 109 kilometers of roads, 60 kilometers of road is located on the Austrian side and the rest on the Italian side. High mountain road section (52 km) is the steepest among the villages Sölden (1,362 meters) in Austria and St. Leonhard.
When we climb to the Timmeljoch from the south side, the path leads us from Merano to the north by Paser Valley (Passeiertal or Val Passiria), Sarntal between Texel and Alps. The peaks of these mountains rises directly from the foothill of the valley over the 2,500 meters high, and some even up to three thousand meters.
Along the road in the valley are lined villages with orchards, gardens, and at the beginning of the valley even with vineyards. We drive to the picturesque village of St.Martin. Shortly before the end of the first part of the road lies the village Sandwirt or Maso di Reno. This place is for all of Tirol some kind holy place. Here was born and acted wine and livestock merchant unforgettable Andreas Hofer (1767-1810), Tyrolean national hero number one.
In 1809, when Austria capitalized against Napoleon and his Bavarian allies, Hofer was chosen as the master of the Tyrolean provincial brigades. The Tyrolean soldiers were on the hill above the Isel Innsbruck three times in four months, defeated French Bavarian army. But Hofer loses fourth battle. Hofer has been captured, taken to jail and then shoot in Mantua.
The restaurant Am Sand Hofer has an memorial room, which is frequented visited by tourists. In the nearby chapel we found a picture on the wall, which are representing the combat events before 200 years ago. In the village of St. Leonhard we can find a cemetery with a 320 French soldiers who fell in battle at that time.
Memory to the Picards landingThe road from the pass descends in a long serpentine along the stream named Timmel to the lookout point Windegg Belvedere (2,080 meters) and further to toll station. It is necessary to pay a toll to use the section between the station and the top of the pass (Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstrasse).
A little further down the road is positioned the village Hochgurgl (2,150 meters), which is the highest permanent settlement in the eastern Alps. The place is a hamlet in the municipality Gurgl. It has two villages, a little lower Untergurgl (1,793 meters) and 3 kilometers down the road, at the end of the road, an old village center of Obergurgl (1,927 meters). Interest to this place has increased in 1931, when on a slope behind the village balloon crash-landed aviator Gustav Piccard.
World press has written about this event and of course the about the village. At that time, in this village lived only 165 people, now there are over 400. The village offer 3.500 beds in the rooms, hotels and guest houses. Here come mostly skiers which uses several ski lifts and chair bellow the mountain Hohe Mut (2.669metres)
The winding road through the unlit tunnels
The road, which climbs from the Italian side to the top of Timmelsjoch saddle was even three decades ago quite poor corrected military way. Despite the renovation and expansion of the road it is not permeable for large a buses and trucks. The road transport is possible only for vehicle which has not more than eight tons, wider than 2.55 meters and not more than four metres high. Travelling with a caravan to the saddle is not allowed. Until recently it was forbidden also for cyclists, but it is permitted now at your own risk. Especially is needed to pay attention when you drive through the unlit tunnels. There is actully nowhere extremly road incline - it amount among nine to 13 percent.
Oetzi - from glacier in sarcophagus
The saddle Timmelsjoch is located between peaks Wurmkogel (3,082 meters) and Jochkopf (2,141 meters) in the north. On the pass is a relatively much of space, there is no shortage of guest houses. Unfortunately, there is no rooms to overnight in restaurant.
From the saddle and nearby lookout points you will enjoy magnificent views of the peaks and glaciers Oetztal, Samtal and Stubai Alps. This mountain passage was known since early Middle Ages, but there is no follows that it was used by the Romans. About 30 kilometers west of the pass, there was in 1991 founded on the border of South Tyrol valley Schnall famous prehistoric man called "Oetzi" - it is in ice mummified prehistoric travelers. After many studies and tests, the experts found that the mummy is aged at least 3,500 years. The mummy is on display in conditioned glass sarcophagus.