Malles Venosta is a small town in the province of Bolzano in the region Trentino-Alto Adige in the north of Italy. It is characterized by a number of Gothic churches, the oldest one of which is the 9th century San Benedetto Church. Malles has around five thousand inhabitants. Its German name is Mals im Vinschgau.
Malles Venosta City Guide
Although Malles borders both Switzerland and Austria, there is no point where the three countries meet.
The main monument of Malles Venosta is the San Benedetto Church, which still has some frescoes from the time of Charlemagne and a Romanesque bell tower.
Other churches are the San Martino Church and the San Giovanni Church. The first one also had a Romanesque bell tower and would later get a Gothic facelift. The latter was destroyed by French troops in 1797.
The Santa Maria Assunta Church was burned down twice. The second time was during the French occupation. The bell tower is Gothic. The large round tower close to the church is called Fröhlichsturm and was built around the end of the 12th century.
Parts of the present territory of Malles Venosta were probably already inhabited during prehistorian times. The oldest traces of life were found in what is now Tarces (Tartsch).
Already during Roman times the city occupied an strategic position on an important route.
During the Middle Ages the city was a customs point.
In 1499, Malles and other cities of the valley, were the backdrop for the battle of Calva, between the Swiss and the imperial troops.
It was not until 1927 that Malles Venosta became what it is now. Its present suburbs were autonomous cities until then. These suburbs are Burgusio (Burgeis), Clusio (Schleis), Laudes (Laatsch), Mazia (Matsch), Planol (Planeil), Slingia (Schlinig), Tarces (Tartsch), Piavenna (Plawenn) and Ultimo-Alsago (Ulten-Alsack). The names between brackets are the German names.
The main attraction near Burgusio is the Benedictine Monte Maria Abbey (Marianberg). At the time the monks made this into a German enclave in the area.
Mazia is named after the Matsch family, who fought the bishops of Coira and the abbot of Marienberg, and became one of the most powerful families in the area. In the 11th century they had two castles built, that however ended up at ware between themselves.