Personalities of South Tyrol - Ötzi, Messner, Magnago and co.

Freedom fighters, mounaineers, former heads of local government and mummies from glaciers. It's the people living there that shape a country and its history. South Tyrol, too, has personalities that make it what it is. And Hotel Tyrol can present them. Only Ötzi may be visited. Andreas Hofer has a museum dedicated to him, Reinhold Messner has a castle, Schloss Juval open to visitors and Silvius Magnago is resting in peace in the cemetery of Bozen.

Andreas Hofer, freedom fighter from South Tyrol

Andreas Hofer

Andreas Hofer was born on 22nd November 1767 at the Sandhof in St. leonhard in Passeier. In the Tyrolean freedom wars of 1809 he led his countrymen to victory three times in the fight against Napoleon's troops, and became commander-in-chief of the Tyrolean army. However, a furhter uprising after the Treaty of Schönbrunn ended in their defeat at Bergisel near Innsbruck. Andreas Hofer fled to the Pfandler Alp above St. Martin in Passeier, but was betrayed, captured and executed by firing squad in Mantua in northern Italy on 20th February 1810.

Iceman Ötzi, South Tyrolean musuem of Archaeology

Ötzi – the Iceman

The Iceman on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano (South Tyrol, Italy) is one of the world’s best-known and most important mummies. Never before had an archaeological find caused such a media sensation. Journalists speculated wildly about the Iceman’s life and death; he became a major figure of caricaturists and a subject of TV shows. One journalist even alleged that the whole thing was a hoax and that someone had planted an Egyptian or Peruvian mummy at the scene of the find. In order to deal with inquiries from the press and the scientific community, the Research Institute for Early Alpine History was set up at Innsbruck University.

Reinhold Messner

Born in South Tyrol in 1944, Reinhold Messner has a track record of breaking with taboos – in rock climbing, on mountaineering expeditions, and crossing deserts and the Poles. For four decades he has built up a wealth of experience at the margins of the world that has enabled him to create a group of museums on the subject of the mountains. Reinhold Messner himself describes the project as his “15th ascent over 8000 metres”. His objective is to offer a study in human nature and the secrets it reveals when we find ourselves at the limits of our resources at the limits of the world. His philosophy – no artificial oxygen, no bolts, no communication – has made him a defender of those values that give mountaineering a dimension that has more to do with art than with sport. Although Reinhold Messner seeks primarily to define his basics for himself, his MMM has already become a global focus for the international mountaineering community.

Silvius Magnago

Magnago was born in Meran/Merano. He studied law at the University of Bologna and graduated with a JD in June 1940. Because of its rejection of Italian Fascism he chose to move to Germany in 1939, but remained first in South Tyrol, where he worked in Bolzano for a commission to estimate the assets of the Tyroleans following the South Tyrol Option Agreement. He was eventually called in the German Army as a lieutenant, and was sent to the Eastern Front. He was chairman of the South Tyrolean People's Party (1957–1991) and governor (Landeshauptmann) of the autonomous province of South Tyrol from 1960 to 1989.