The so called Schildhöfe, 11 beautiful farmsteads in the Val Passiria valley, are adapted to residences.
Image gallery: Shield Farms
The Shield Farms have already been residence of the Shield Farmers in the 13th century. They were shield bearers of Earls and territorial lords. In the 14th century the inhabitants of the Shield Farms also received the possibility of getting aristocracy rights. In March 1317 King Henry of Bohemia, together with the Counts of Tyrol, composed the so called “Freedom Letters”, in which he relieved the 11 Shield Farmers from tax dues, lifelong. In return the farmers had to commit themselves to serve the lords and counts within Tyrol.
They supported the conquest of neighbouring countries and provided their lords with food, also with bagged animals. In festive occasions they guarded Castel Tirolo or San Zeno Castle. The 11 Shield Farmers of Val Passiria were allowed to appear armed, wherever they went. Of all the additional rights, fishery in the Passirio river and the right to parade with shield and halberd have been preserved.
Today there is a trail leading past the ancient Shield Farms, representing residences with castle elements. These farms are located at the top of hills, boast ivy-covered towers, sundials and old frescos. The beautiful circular path (2.5 hours) starts in Saltusio, directly at the Saltauserhof, one of the Shield Farms. By the way: the names of the farmsteads are Saltaus, Haupold, Granstein, Ebion, Psairer, Buchenegg, Baumkirch, Gereuth, Steinhaus, Happerg, Gomion.