In Val Gardena/Gröden, woodcarving is a century-old tradition whose origins can be traced back to the 17th Century. At that time, the local population consisted mainly of farmers who spent the cold winter months carving useful tools such as kitchen utensils and other implements that would facilitate their work in the field during summer. In time, some of them became so passionate about woodcarving that they turned their hobby into a job, honing their skills and perfecting their techniques. This is how Val Gardena started producing beautifully intricate pieces of wood sculpture such as crucifixes, Madonnas, nativity scenes, angels and other religion-themed figurines, which made the valley’s artisans renowned far beyond the valley borders.
However, the woodcarving tradition is not exclusive to Val Gardena; with wood carvers growing steadily in number throughout the decades and centuries, it has indeed become an integral part of European culture. Nevertheless, Val Gardena woodcarving is still unmistakable in style and has no comparable matches in other Countries.
Today, the local woodcarving art is richly diversified, partly thanks to modern technologies, with artworks ranging from baroque sculpture and religious figurines to abstract, contemporary pieces.