The Speltenzaun

Keeping alive old South Tyrolean craft art

Wooden fences adorn since ever the rural areas of the Alps, particularly on the farms in the mountain areas of South Tirol.
The twisted Speltenzaun is a typical wooden fence from old tradition.
It is a scenery-decorative rural cultural asset, a combination of beauty and usefulness at the same time, which stamps the scenery of South Tirol.
It serves for the containment of farm gardens, pastures and meadows.
When establishing a “Speltenzaunes” the biggest work is to prepare the fence wood.
The so-called “Spelten” are split from trunks without branches, carved out and sharpened. The posts are split from larches or chestnuts trunks, are debarked and sharpened. Moreover, the posts are burnt in the lower third in order to extend the life span.
As crossbar, halved spruces or larches poles are used.
For the wickerwork, the steady, very long branches of the spruce are needed, from which all fine little needle branches are removed.
A crossbar, to which the “Spelten” are weaved, gets fastened to the posts.
When weaving, there are several techniques, which differ from place to place.
The branches are heated up above a fireplace to reach a good pliability.
Putting up the twisted “Speltenzaun” requires craft talent and a little bit more time involved in comparison to other wooden fences. However, this one is from special firmness and durability and above all a cultural heritage, which is worth to be furthermore kept alive.
Also in the dining room of the hotel, we have put up a “Speltenzaun” as a special eye-catcher and for preservation of old craft art.