Bottai Road

Bottai Road

At the end of Streiter Road begins Via dei Bottai Road which is one of the most typical streets in the historic centre of Bolzano characterised by its original signs in wrought iron of the numerous artisan'cellars.

Wine production and trading have been major sources of income for Bolzano ever since the Middle Ages.

Coopers or barrel makers comprised one of the most influential trade guilds and the street named after them, the Binder Gasse ("Coopers' Street") was once of one of the town's main traffic routes.

From the late 13th century until relatively recently the whole of the traffic to and from Brennero passed through the Via dei Bottai Road. Bolzano was an important medieval trading town which visitors entered through the Wangen Gate, close to where today the Museum of Nature South Tyrol is located on the corner between the Via Andreas Hofer and the Via dei Bottai Road.

The Via dei Bottai Road was their first "point of entry" and for this reason there were, and still are, numerous hotels, restaurants and public houses in the street. Having arrived in the town after a long and tiring journey merchants would revitalise themselves and their horses here before moving on to meet their business partners under the arcades.

Medieval Via dei Bottai Road was an extremely loud and bustling street with even six-horse carriages passing through.

Today the street is part of the pedestrian area which extends from the Via Museo via the fruit market and the arcades in the centre of Bolzano.

Until the beginning of the 13th century the street was called the Wangener-Gasse after the aristocratic family Von Wangen. They owned Runkelstein castle and had their own town district and their own street.

The Via dei Bottai Road is still noted for its traditional public houses, several of which are identified by their old wrought-iron inn signs and a few have been housed within the same walls for centuries. They include Eisenhut and Weisses Rössl ("White Horse"), a Bolzano institution which offers food until late in the evening, the Mondschein Hotel with its cosy old wood-panelled dining room, and Hotel Pfau ("Peacock") which is accommodated in one of the town's few art nouveau style buildings.

From the 16th century to the end of World War II the tax and weights and measures offices were located there.

Maximilianhouse

At the north end is the Maximilianhouse, built in 1512 in the late Gothic style. Once it used to be the seat of the administrative offices of Emperor Maximilian I. Now it houses the Museum of Nature South Tyrol.

The Bishopric of Augsburg owned numerous vineyards in the town and its administrative offices were opposite. Bolzano's jail was located here from 1803 to 1899, where the Tyrolean freedom fighters Peter Mayr and Andreas Hofer were imprisoned.

Hidden chronograph

"Ich heisse Bindergasse
Der Schlägel hier erklang
An Zuber, Yhr und Fasse
Gar gute Iahre lang."

"Ich heisse Bindergasse -
Der Schlägel hier erklang
An Zuber, Yhr und Fasse
Gar gute Jahre lang."

I C I I D D C L L I L U U D U I L = 1 + 100 + 1 + 1 + 10 + 10 + 100 + 50 + 50 + 1 + 50 + 5 + 5 + 10 + 5 + 1 + 50 = 450 years.