Strassen and its historic past

The name of the little village „an der Strasse“went over to the local community Strassen.  Names of some of the nine groups have historical meanings such as Hintenburg, Frontstadel and Messensee. At the village Messensee – after also a knight was named, was - as the name suggests before immemorial time a lake.  

But the saga says also, that there is an explanation for the origin of the name “Massensee”. It is reported that is alleged to have passed an ancient settlement "Messa", which was allegedly destroyed by the Huns (Avars).

This Messa should therefor have been founden in the middle of the 2nd Centurey BC.

It has not been scientifically clarified yet, where this Messa was located. The Roman town of Messa, of which the Saga says that they have had predecessors in earlier times, was located in the area, which I now below the main road, around the Weiler Hof. The village was buried by a landslide.   

In 1931, excavations revealed the ruins with hypocaust roman origin.

In 1969, a Roman milestone was found and placed in front of the community house. 

The churches in Strassen

Even over the years, Strassen still has remained as a silent Tyrolean mountain village. That makes the Strassen with its high cultural value, the streets and the two churches even more outstanding.

The church was built in the 18th Century as an octagonal rotunda with curved dome roof and is one of the few examples of this Baroque construction in East Tyrol. Inside, the frescoes and tasteful stucco works, and the late Baroque altars are really worth seeing. In the years 1977 - 1990 a complete  inside and outside restoration was carried out under the leadership and pastorate advice of Pastor Herrmann Dobler. The last decisive impetus came with the earthquake of Friaul in 1976. The curch suffered major damage and had to be closed for safety reasons.  On the 15th of July 1979 the curch was inaugurated again by the Diocesan Bishop Dr. Paul Rusch. A n unusual high beneficience of the residence of Strassen made this restoration and the reopening possible. Today the Dreifaltigkeitskirche in Strassen belongs to one of the few Baroque churches in Austria and is to be described as a jewel of baroque architecture. 

The chapel was first mentioned in 1293 but was build 700 years on the hill of the north of the valley, a chapel in honour of St. Jacobus the Great. 1455 a Gothic building was build whose  frescoes was originally were assigned to the “Sunter Schule” Brixen and was later on recognized as a major work of Leonhard of Brixen. This could be the story for those hills, which have perhaps passed the ancient "Messa". Today, the St. Jacob Church is one of Strassens major cultural edifices in the Tyrolean Way of St. Jacob.


The Pustertal (Dolomites)

The Pustertal is a valley name for the area between the Mühlbacher Klause (now in South-east of Brixen) and the Lienz Klause. But a river called “Puster” does not exist. The valley is drained by the South Tyrol and East Tyrol Rienz of the Drau. The watershed is located on the flat Toblacher Field. InRoman times Pustertal belonged to the province of Noricum and was a transit arew with a major street. In the 6th Century this area was bajuwarisch settled and that’s how it came to the Duchy of Bavaria, the grman name “Pustertal” was first mentioned in 1177, whereby “Valle Pustrissa” was commonly used before that time. Throughout all centuries, the Pustertal was always a unit wherebey subdivions where made: Under Pustertal (Mühlbach to Olang) upper and High Pustertal (Welsberg to Strassen) Lower Pustertal ( Abfaltersbach via Lienz to the border).  It was only after the separation of South Tyrol after the First World War that tore these scenic and cultural unity, whereby the separtion was never carried out either on the natural boundary (watersheed) nor on the historcial border.