Photo by bimbinelbosco.com
Fairies, gnomes and goblins are just some of the protagonists of the oldest legends that still haunt mountain villages, and San Candido is no exception: its enchanting landscape, dominated by the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is even more suggestive of the existence of fairy beings linked to nature. In San Candido, in the heart of the Val Pusteria, the legend of the giant Baranci has been handed down for centuries, inspiring the creation of the picturesque 'Gnome Village'.
The legend of Haunold
It is said that once upon a time, a child named Haunold lived in San Candido: one day, by chance, he found himself drinking water from a magical spring that had the power to make the unfortunate grow into a giant. Haunold then became a sort of colossus and took refuge on top of Monte Baranci.
One day, the inhabitants of the village asked the little big Haunold to transport the large stone boulders to be used for the construction of today's Church of Saints Candido and Corbiniano.
He willingly helped them, with the help of the gnomes, and in return asked for a lot of food. Once the construction of the Collegiate Church was completed, Haunold continued to ask and demand more and more food, so much so that the villagers planned his death.
They decided to dig a large pit to trap him, which he did. Haunold fell into the pit and died.
The people of Sancanda did not forget the help the giant had given them, so they took one of his ribs and displayed it in the church in memory of Haunold.
Watch the video La costola del gigante Baranci a San Candido
The Gnome Village
To reach the top of Monte Baranci where the "Village of the Gnomes" is located, you can also use a chairlift that departs from the centre of San Candido.
The Village was built in 2018 and since then it has become an unmissable holiday destination for families who come to San Candido.
The Village is immersed in the green woods and is made up of nine pretty huts, built strictly in raw wood and huts where it is easy to imagine the gnomes intent on their daily work: their exploration is a small adventure, having to climb ladders and cross small suspended bridges. There is also the castle, from whose turret you can dominate the village and San Candio below, but above all the mill, fed by what might seem to be the miraculous spring that transformed little Haunold forever.
The "Village of the Gnomes" also includes a small Adventure Park surrounded by greenery, with tubing, wooden merry-go-rounds, trampolines and an adrenaline-filled fun-bob that leads directly to the valley.
Photo di familygo.eu