Museum Gherdëina

The Gherdeina Local Heritage Museum is situated right in the center of Ortisei and exhibits valuable collections related to the cultural and natural history of the Gardena Valley: precious sculptures and paintings of local artists of the last four centuries and a unique collection of ancient wooden toys of the area, spectacular minerals and fossils of plants and marine creatures testitying to the fascinating evolution and creation of the Dolomites as extensive coral reefs over 200 million years ago, as well as remarkable archaeological finds of the oldest human traces of the area.

Two very extraordinary exhibits are the richly illuminated Lenten cloth of the Saint James’ Church above Ortisei (1620) and the very impressive original cruzifix of Seurasas (1932).

The multimedial exhibition Bierjun 1490. A Secret Passion shows the tiny bedchamber room from the Bierjun farmhouse near Ortisei with very rare drawings from the Late Middle Ages. The delicate drawings on the wooden walls are shown through a digital window.

The Museum Gherdëina also houses the Archive and permanent exhibition of Luis Trenker (1892-1990), actor and director of many mountain films.

From the sea to the Dolomites, the fossils tell their tale

Guide to the Geological and Paleontological Collection of the Museum Gherdëina
with Andrea TINTORI

In its geological and paleontological department, the Museum Gherdëina exhibits the leading fossils of all geological eras and layers in the Dolomites. Paleontologist Andrea Tintori, since 2021 honorary curator of the museum‘s Geo-Paleontology Department, now explains the formation of the Dolomites in this series of six
videos: generally understandable, exciting and educational.

1 Before the sea (Val Gardena Sandstone) Link video 1
2 Finally, the sea (Bellerophon Formation – Late Permian, around 253 Ma) Link video 2
3 Life recovers after the big crisis (Werfen Formation) Link video 3
4 From emersion to marine environmental diversification (Buchenstein Formation) Link video 4
5 The last wide tidal flat (Dolomia Principale) Link video 5
6 The youngest marine fossils of the Dolomites (Puez Marls) Link video 6

Link Video 1–6
Total duration 20 min.

The great ichthyosaurus of Mount Secëda

Face to face with a creature that is half fish, half saurian, ten metres long and armed with sharp teeth: although the Ichthyosaurus Cymbospondylus lived 241 million years ago, such an encounter is still possible - thanks to virtual reality and a new attraction at the Museum Gherdëina.

The VR experience is based on the fossilised bone remains of an ichthyosaur found on Mount Secëda in 1968, unic in the world for the period of the Ladinicum. They served experts as the starting point for a scientific reconstruction, including not only the ichthyosaur itself, but also its habitat in the Tethys Ocean,
which it dominated for almost 100 million years.

Here you can download the exhibition overview for ICHTHYOSAUR OF MOUNT SECEDA as PDF.

Download poster

The ichthyosaurus Cymbospondylus, half fish, half lizard, was an impressive animal. Thanks to virtual reality from 2021 onwards it can be experienced first-hand in the Gherdëina Museum in Ortisei. A video of the project made by the young paleontologist Nicola Castelnuovo shows how enormous this marine animal was that dominated the Tethys Ocean 240 million years ago.

To the VR-video

Prof. Ryosuke Motani in the Museum Gherdëina, 2014
Prof. Ryosuke Motani in the Museum Gherdëina, 2014
The discoverers of the fossil remains of the ichthyosaurus of the Secëda J. Comploj y M. Strobl in the Museum Gherdëina, 2014
The discoverers of the fossil remains of the ichthyosaurus of the Secëda J. Comploj y M. Strobl in the Museum Gherdëina, 2014


Them museum reopens!
<i>We are delighted to be able to reopen our doors and present our collections to the public.


15.05–25.06: MO–FR 2 pm–6 pm
26.06–26.09: MO–SA 10 am–1 pm, 2 pm–6 pm
27.09–16.10: MO–FR 10 am–12.30 pm, 2 pm–6 pm
15.08: closed


daily, 10 am–12.30 pm, 2 pm–6 pm
closed: 24, 25, 31.12, 01.01
Tu–Fr, 10 am–12.30 pm, 2 pm–6 pm



Museum Gherdëina

Cësa di Ladins, Via Rezia 83
I-39046 Ortisei/St. Ulrich (Province of Bolzano-Bozen)

T 0039 0471 797554
F 0039 0471 789798

Getting Here

MEJES: The Masi of Val Gardena. Memory of a landscape

The Masi of Val Gardena – Mejes de Gherdëina – constitute an age-old architectural heritage, dating back in some cases to the 13th century, representing, apart from their historical and documentary value, an invaluable wealth of architectural, constructive and aesthetic features. However, these masi are increasingly threatened by demolition due to the radical economic and social transformation of the territory and the difficulty of adapting these historic structures to modern needs.
The loss of this heritage would mark an irrevocable depletion of part of the valley's material culture.

The constant threat of demolition and the greater interest shown recently in the preservation of the masi have made it necessary to re-document and re-photograph these characteristic buildings, so typical of peasant culture, expanding and updating the 2008-2013 Museo Gherdëina project, which covered all the masi and barns of the Val Gardena, censused in the Map of the Masi of Val Gardena.

The new black and white images, captured by the photographer Václav Šedý, give us an exciting, insightful glimpse into this distinctive architectural style, part of peasant culture for centuries.
The exhibition boasts a vast display of recent photographs and there is a catalogue with photos of all the masi depicted, evidence of the rich architectural heritage still to be found in Val Gardena.

To the video MEJES