the Alpine region (images and its cultures and people)


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ALPS- a chain that belongs to Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia; that unites mediterranean, celtic, german and slavic world (the core of europe), where the languages spoken are of romance, germanic and slavic origins. A land rich of cultures.

German: Alpen; Italian: Alpi; Lombard: Alp; French: Alpes; Occitan: Aups/Alps; Romansh: Alps; Slovene: Alpe); they are all ultimately cognates with Latin albus ("white").

The highest mountain in the Alps is Mont Blanc, at 4,810.45 metres (15,782 ft), on the Italian–French border.

The valleys of the Alps have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Alpine culture centers on transhumance.

The Wildkirchli caves in the Appenzell Alps show traces of Neanderthal habitation. During the last glacial maximum, the entire Alps were covered in ice. According to the book The Seven Daughters of Eve, by Bryan Sykes, MtDNA Haplogroup K arose along the southeastern slopes of the Alps around 12-15,000 years ago.
Traces of transhumance appear in the neolithic. In the Bronze Age, the Alps formed the boundary of the Urnfield and Terramare cultures.
In Valle Camonica, on Italian side of the Alps, the Camunni engraved about 300.000 petroglyphs from epipaleolithic to iron age.[1]
The earliest historical accounts date to the Roman period, mostly due to Greco-Roman ethnography, with some epigraphic evidence due to the Raetians, Lepontii and Gauls. A few details have come down to us of the conquest of many of the Alpine tribes by Augustus, as well as Hannibal's battles across the Alps.
The successive emigration and occupation of the Alpine region by the Alemanni from the 6th to the 8th centuries are, too, known only in outline. For "mainstream" history, the Frankish and later the Habsburg empire, the Alps had strategic importance as an obstacle, not as a landscape, and the Alpine passes have consequently had great significance militarily.
It is not until the final breakup of the Carolingian Empire in the 10th and 11th centuries that it becomes possible to trace out the local history of different parts of the Alps, notably with the High Medieval Walser migrations.

n the case of the Western Alps (excluding the part from the chain of Mont Blanc to the Simplon Pass, which followed the fortunes of the Valais), a prolonged struggle for control took place between the feudal lords of Savoy, the Dauphiné and Provence. In 1349 the Dauphiné fell to France, while in 1388 the county of Nice passed from Provence to the house of Savoy, which also then held Piedmont as well as other lands on the Italian side of the Alps. The struggle henceforth was limited to France and the house of Savoy, but little by little France succeeded in pushing back the house of Savoy across the Alps, forcing it to become a purely Italian power.
One turning-point in the rivalry was the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), by which France ceded to Savoy the Alpine districts of Exilles, Bardonnèche (Bardonecchia), Oulx, Fenestrelles, and Châtean Dauphin, while Savoy handed over to France the valley of Barcelonnette, situated on the western slope of the Alps and forming part of the county of Nice. The final act in this long-continued struggle took place in 1860, when France obtained by cession the rest of the county of Nice and also Savoy, thus remaining sole ruler on the western slope of the Alps.

n the Central Alps the chief event, on the northern side of the chain, is the gradual formation from 1291 to 1516 of the Swiss Confederacy, at least so far as regards the mountain Cantons, and with especial reference to the independent confederations of the Grisons and the Valais, which only became full members of the Confederation in 1803 and 1815 respectively. The attraction of the south was too strong for both the Forest Cantons and the Grisons, so that both tried to secure, and actually did secure, various bits of the Milanese.
In the 15th century, the Forest Cantons won the Val Leventina as well as Bellinzona and the Val Blenio (though the Ossola Valley was held for a time only). Blenio was added to the Val Bregaglia (which had been given to the bishop of Coire in 960 by the emperor Otto I), along with the valleys of Mesocco and of Poschiavo.
In 1512, the Swiss Confederation as a whole won the valleys of Locarno with Lugano, which, combined with the 15th century conquests by the Forest Cantons, were formed in 1803 into the new Canton of Ticino or Tessin.
On the other hand, the Grisons won in 1512 the Valtellina, along with Bormio and Chiavenna, but in 1797 these regions were finally lost to it as well as to the Swiss Confederation, though the Grisons retained the valleys of Mesocco, Bregaglia and Poschiavo, while in 1762 it had bought the upper bit of the valley of Münster that lies on the southern slope of the Alps.

In 1300 BC the eastern Alps were settled by the Illyrian tribe of the Norici that later mixed with the native population.[2] In the 7th century, much of the Eastern Alps were settled by Slavs. Between the 7th and 9th century, the Slavic principality of Carantania existed as one of the few non-Germanic polities in the Alps. The Alpine Slavs, who inhabited the majority of present-day Austria and Slovenia, were gradually Germanized from the 9th to the 14th century. The modern Slovenes are their southernmost descendants.
From the 9th century onward, the Eastern Alps were included in the Frankish Empire. Since the High Middle Ages, the political history of the Eastern Alps can be considered almost totally in terms of the advance or retreat of the house of Habsburg. The Habsburgers' original home was in the lower valley of the Aar, at Habsburg castle. They lost that district to the Swiss in 1415, as they had previously lost various other sections of what is now Switzerland. But they built an impressive empire in the Eastern Alps, where they defeated numerous minor dynasties. They won the duchy of Austria with Styria in 1282, Carinthia and Carniola in 1335, Tirol in 1363, and the Vorarlberg in bits from 1375 to 1523, not to speak of minor "rectifications" of frontiers on the northern slope of the Alps. But on the other slope their progress was slower, and finally less successful.
It is true that they won Primiero quite early (1373), as well as (1517) the Ampezzo Valley and several towns to the south of Trento. In 1797 they obtained Venetia proper, in 1803 the secularized bishoprics of Trento and Brixen (as well as that of Salzburg, more to the north), besides the Valtellina region, and in 1815 the Bergamasque valleys, while the Milanese had belonged to them since 1535. But in 1859 they lost to the house of Savoy both the Milanese and the Bergamasca, and in 1866 Venetia proper also, so that the Trentino was then their chief possession on the southern slope of the Alps. The gain of the Milanese in 1859 by the future king of Italy (1861) meant that Italy then won the valley of Livigno (between the Upper Engadine and Bormio), which is the only important bit it holds on the non-Italian slope of the Alps, besides the county of Tenda (obtained in 1575, and not lost in 1860), with the heads of certain glens in the Maritime Alps, reserved in 1860 for reasons connected with hunting. Following World War I and the demise of Austria-Hungary, there were important territorial changes in the Eastern Alps.

the Iconic DOLOMITES (Unesco World Heritage)




The central and eastern Alps of Europe are rich in folklore traditions dating back to pre-Christian (pagan) times, with surviving elements amalgamated from Germanic, Gaulish (Gallo-Roman), Slavic (Carantanian) and Raetian culture.

Ancient customs survived in the rural parts of Austria, Switzerland, Bavaria, Slovenia, western Croatia and Italy in the form of dance, art, processions, rituals and games. The high regional diversity is a result of the mutual isolation of Alpine communities. In the Alps, the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and paganism has been an ambivalent one. While some customs survived only in the remote valleys inaccessible to the church's influence, other customs were actively assimilated over the centuries. In light of the dwindling rural population of the Alps, many customs have evolved into more modern interpretations.


The word Krampus originates from the Old High German word for claw (Krampen). In the Alpine regions, the Krampus is represented by an incubus demon accompanying Saint Nicholas. Krampus acts as an anti–Saint Nicholas, who, instead of giving gifts to good children, gives warnings and punishments to the bad children. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December, particularly in the evening of December 5, and roam the streets frightening children and women with rusty chains and bells.


Originally, the word Perchten (plural of Perchta) referred to the female masks representing the entourage of Frau Perchta or Pehta Baba as is known in Slovenia, an ancient goddess (some claim a connection to the Nordic goddess Freyja, though this is uncertain). Traditionally, the masks were displayed in processions (Perchtenlauf) during the last week of December and first week of January, and particularly on 6 January. The costume consists of a brown wooden mask and brown or white sheep's skin. In recent times Krampus and Perchten have increasingly been displayed in a single event, leading to a loss of distinction of the two. Perchten are associated with midwinter and the embodiment of fate and the souls of the dead. The name originates from the Old High German word peraht ("brilliant").
Regional variations of the name include Berigl, Berchtlmuada, Berchta, Pehta, Perhta-Baba, Zlobna Pehta, Bechtrababa, Sampa, Stampa, Lutzl, Zamperin, Pudelfrau, Zampermuatta and Rauweib. The Roman Catholic Church attempted to prohibit the sometimes rampant practise in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but later condoned it, resulting in a revival.
In the Pongau region of Austria large processions of Schönperchten ("beautiful Perchten") and Schiachperchten ("ugly Perchten") are held every winter. Other regional variations include the Tresterer in the Austrian Pinzgau region, the stilt dancers in the town of Unken, the Schnabelpercht ("trunked Percht") in the Unterinntal region and the Glöcklerlaufen ("bell-running") in the Salzkammergut. A number of large ski-resorts have turned the tradition into a tourist attraction drawing large crowds every winter.
Sometimes, der Teufel is viewed to be the most schiach ("ugly") Percht (masculine singular of Perchten) and Frau Perchta to be the most schön ("beautiful") Perchtin (female singular of Perchten).


The Badalisc is a "good" mythological animal who lives in the woods of Andrista, in Val Camonica, Italy. During an annual town festival someone dresses up as the creature and is "captured" and brought to the town. The animal is made to tell the people of the town gossip. At the end of the festival the creature is released until the next year's ceremony
Interesting stuff! Very pagan.
interesting monsters could be typical folklores from mountains regions
Dolomiti! <3

Best mountain landscapes in Italy, without doubt! They're amazing!
The second (largest) photo in thearticle, signed "Emiliano Pane '99", is an exercise donewith the PC; the author makes no mistery. This landscape simply doesnot exist. Greetings
other italian Alpine Chours and alpine songs.. very beautiful style

La Villanella

Inno al Trentino (Himn to Trentino)

La Bergera (in Piedomontese dialect, similar to france d'oc languages)
lyrics (in dialect and italian)

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