Legends and histories of the Bad Moos Dolomites Spa Resort

The architects of the Hotel Bad Moos in Sesto paid special attention to the natural surroundings of the hotel

The larch, the arolla pine, the deer ... in Bad Moos

...or what the architects have thought...

The larch is everywhere ...

Over there, across the Sesto River and beneath the Schusterspitze peak there is a bright meadow with larches as tall as church spires. A larch wood, almost a fairy tale wood. These deciduous conifers grow to a height of 40 metres. These trees, with their deep roots and hard, resinous wood, stand firm and strong. The larch is as much part of the Alpine mountain landscape as the mountains themselves, grows at altitudes of 1000 to 2000 metres above sea level and can live for up to 500 years.

Their wood withstands wind and weather and is extremely sustainable. The parts of houses and roofs, which take the most punishment from age and weather are built of it, it is used to manufacture not just agricultural equipment and carts, but also furniture, to which its lustrous grain lends an especial charm.

"Larcher" is still a family name frequently found in Tyrol; the larchers tapped the larches to obtain their resin, from which medicaments and oil of turpentine were extracted.

Whenever the soft green tufts of needles once more attire the crowns of the larches, it is a sign that even the hardest winter in the high mountains is over.

The long, willowy branches can be plaited into coiled headdresses into which are placed the first flower buds, which grow on the bright meadows of these light-hungry giants.

In summer you come across fungi and mushrooms, which grow successfully only in association with the larches, in autumn their needles turn from green to golden yellow and flaming red and not until long after the broad-leaved deciduous trees have shed their foliage, do the larches let their needles drop to the ground, which is often already snow-covered.

Even in its winter dormancy and bare of needles, this tree radiates the strength and serenity of one who knows that even the hardest of times will change. There is only one thing which this gentle giant fears: the dark spruce forests. Wherever these expand, the larch retreats, right up to the highest Alpine pastures, where only deer stir and mountain pines creep. The larches can live with them, they are friends.

It was from the arrolla pine...

From its velvety-soft wood in the valleys of the Dolomites the statues of the Virgin Mary were carved, and crucifixes for every nook and cranny. So many were carved, that over one hundred years ago this wonderful tree was threatened with extinction. It is almost a holy tree, which still endures like a monk in the lonely heights above 2000 metres.

Arrolla pine, Cembra pine or Swiss pine, as it is called in Switzerland, is the extreme mountaineer of the world of trees, encountered even on the narrowest rocky ledges on vertical cliff walls, with its roots clinging to fissures and the tiniest cracks in the rocks.

Its wood is resinous and rich in essential oils, the scent of which lingers even centuries after the area has been logged. The positive characteristics of the wood of the "King of the Alps" have been treasured and used for centuries. For the first time this practical knowledge has been subjected to an empirical analysis. Scientists from the JOANNEUM RESEARCH Association in Weiz in a blind study as part of an inter-regional research programme evaluated the effects of arrolla pine wood on the human organism.

The conclusion: "You sleep better in a bed made from arrolla pine!"

A panel study confirmed the significant influence of the manufacturing material on physical and emotional health. The quality of sleep was clearly proven to be better in an arrolla pine bed in comparison with a bed made of wood-effect material. A better night's rest is associated with a reduction in heart rate and increased vitality of the organism in the course of the day. The average "savings" in an arrolla pine bed were around 3500 heart beats per day, which corresponds to about one hour’s work for the heart.

And this wonder tree also donates something to gastronomy: the delicious, nutritious seeds, the "Zirmnüsslen“ or “pine nuts", which contain 70% fat and 20% protein, are nowadays considered a delicacy and used in baking and steeped in alcohol to make Zirmschnapps (pine schnapps).

For a long time it has not been easy for us as architects to find a selection of types of wood to build hotels: here in Bad Moos the trees grow on our doorstep...

»So leicht haben wir es als Architekten lange nicht nicht mehr gehabt, bei der Wahl der Hölzer für ein Hotel: hier in Bad Moos wachsen sie vor der Haustüre ...«

The return of the red deer ...

An old legend recounts that two stags used to meet by full moonlight at the sulphurous water spring in Bad Moos and drink from it. They were always the strongest and largest in the whole region. This observation made the "little spa" famous throughout Tyrol. But then wars and turmoil came to the land and the deer vanished.

It was not until some two centuries ago that deer were again sighted in the area, and today they range, strong and mighty, through the forests around the Bad Moos spring.

A good sign, a wonderful sign...

It gives us a congenial reason to design the new BAD MOOS.

Hugo Julius & Hanspeter Demetz


The Tre Cime a massive
of the Dolomites of Sesto
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