Place of Interest
Innichen – San Candido
Nice little town in the Puster Valley
Innichen (Italian: San Candido) is next to Bruneck and the Austrian town of Lienz, the only city in the region around the entire Puster Valley. Accordingly, this small and very beautiful town has developed into a centre in the upper Puster Valley and the neighbouring valleys. Despite an emerging tourist industry, the centre of Innichen has a really urban feel in contrast to the surrounding big hotel villages. The relatively good infrastructure and the large water park Acquafun have the potential to spell tourist congestion especially when weather conditions are bad. Innichen also had an important historical significance for the region. The Christianisation and Germanisation of the Puster Valley began with the construction of the first collegiate church. Three beautiful churches today still bear witness to the religious significance of the city for the valley.
Abbey church and monastery
The beautiful Romanesque church of Innichen was built in 1284, after two former churches. The great tower still dominates the city centre. Of particular value inside the impressive church building are a wonderful relief in the tympanum of the entrance and a beautiful organ with wings painted by Andreas Putz from the 17th century. The remains of the previous building built in A.D. 1000, today’s crypt, can be reached from both sides of the main altar. You should also see the attached monastery museum. It contains the church treasure as well as several exhibits of religious art and a manuscript collection. The mountain crystal cross of Innichen, made of pure rock crystal, is a unique sight. Made in Northern Italy, it came to Innichen and now shines in the church museum with impressive beauty. The Franciscan monastery on the outskirts is also worth visiting. The baroque building includes several paintings of the Baroque painter Christoph Unterberger – including the "Madonna and Child with St. Francis kneeling before the holy Leopold."
Altöttinger chapel and the holy grave chapel
Two other highlights in Innichen are the Altöttinger chapel and the holy grave chapel. The quaint building with its three towers consists of an octagonal tower with an attached chapel (Altöttinger Chapel), a nave with a tower (Passion Chapel) and a round building with turrets and the holy grave (holy grave chapel). This unique church was built between 1633 and 1653 and was founded by a devout pilgrim of Innichen. Impressed by the Grace Chapel in Altötting in Germany and the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, he brought the plans of these churches with him and had them rebuilt on a smaller scale in Innichen – the result is a really beautiful church complex, which you should see.