The earth pyramids
The earth pyramids in Terenten were probably formed back in 1837 after a heavy thunderstorm washed the slope out. In the following decades, erosion had an impact on the two different kinds of debris: the boulder containing material formed the earth pyramids; the material containing hardly any stones formed the ridges.
The earth pyramids are made of layers of geological material originating from glacial deposition. The lowermost layer is light grey, and is interspersed with coarse-particle granite and rather round stones. The layer on top is darker and does not contain any larger rocks.
Erosion (rain, snowmelt) washes the pinnacles, spires and ridges out of the slope, provided there is a cap stone which prevents the pyramids from being totally washed away. If the cap stone happens to fall off, the pyramid eventually dissolves. Simultaneously, however, new pyramids slowly arise higher up on the slope.
The Pirchner Moos biotope
The Pirchner Moos lies at about 1,300m above sea level and slightly faces south. This whole area is geologically supported by Brixner Granite. The “Pustertal-Line” fault line, the boundary between southern and eastern Alpine rock strata, runs north of the biotope, at the highest point of the Hohenbichl.
This fault line is one of the most important fault lines in the Alps. The biotope itself has two different vegetation areas. The main area is a small swamp, its edge an upland moor.
The little wetland is surrounded by marshland, forests flooded with sunlight and hedges. In the bog area you find different kinds of moss, such as sphagnum, bogbean, grass-of-pernassus, swamp meadow-grass, common tormentil, sedges and wild orchids.
The meadows in the marsh area used to be mowed for horse feed or as bedding for cowsheds. As this kind of farming is no longer customary, shrubs and bushes no make their way into the marshland.
Due to plant diversity, the biotope is the habitat of many different animal species who find shelter here. Typical inhabitants of damp biotopes such as emperor dragonflies and damselflies can be seen here. When the weather is right another guest can be observed here, the fire salamander. The common buzzard also loves flying over the marsh area, from one treetop to the next.
St. Margareth in Margen
In the middle of this uneven terrain, at a distance from and a little higher than the hamlet Margen, stands the late Gothic Margener Church, dedicated to Saint Margareth. The name of the place was first documented in 1290, but has nothing to do with the name of the saint. One of the farms in Margen, the Pfurnerhof, was first documented in 1140.
St. Margareth was built in the 13th century, in the 14th century the tower was added. The nave was vaulted later on in the early 16th century. In 1742 the local farmers installed a portrayal of Saint Christopher at the southern wall of the nave.
This saint, one of the “14 Holy Helpers”, was honoured here as a “special patron against thunder and lightning”. The church patron Saint Margareth, a protective “Wetierfrau”, is also called upon during thunderstorms. To this day, on 1 May of every year ceremonial processions to Margen are held during which the locals pray for good weather.
Many faithful from Kiens also join this ceremonial procession which ends at St. George’s Church in Terenten.
History – the mills
For a long time, it was hard to access Terenten. The road leading up to the village from Vintl was only constructed in 1961. For centuries, the village was rather autonomous.
The farmers and tradesmen provided for food and clothes. From 1629 onwards, molitores (millers), textores (weavers), ferrarii (smiths) and other tradesmen were more and more frequently mentioned in the baptismal registers of Terenten parish. Rye, wheat, oats, barley and buckwheat were cultivated to guarantee man as well as livestock had enough to eat.
Peas, potatoes and cabbage, beetroot, poppy seed and flax were also grown. Almost every farm had its own mill or at least the right to grind grain at a mill. There were also professional millers who were partially paid in flour and bran. To this day, many house names along the Terner Bach and Winnebach brook indicate that people who performed this profession used to live here. From May to October a mill is open every Monday from 10am to 3pm.