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by Theresa König last modified 2007-02-19 14:08


As mentioned at the Verbella Alp, the „Zaniss“Alp is mentioned in the rental rolls during the reign of Sonnenberg in 1423.  It marked the last outpost for the farmers coming from Guarda through the Big and Small Vermunt.  From here, they could reach Vermunt and the crossing into the Montafon.  The path over the Zeinisjoch was also the only path that linked the people from Galtuer with the outside world which was open all year and relatively safe.  A text from the rental rolls from Goswin dated 1390 mentions that the Walser farmer that settled on the Zeinis was named Christian and had to pay three pounds of Berner as rent.  At that time he was the only bondman on the Marienberg.  The text is informative in as far that it only mentions Galtuer indirectly.  The “alpem in Signes” was probably spread out over the area where the Zeinis Alp, the Small Zeinis and parts or Wirl are today. 
When studying the origin of the Zeinisjoch, around  a thousand years of history comes to light.  Eberhard von Tarasp handed over the “alpem in Signes” or Zeinis between 1089 and 1096.  In addition, the existence of the Verbella Alp is documented in the Grison registry, the oldest source of information open to the public, in 1089.  We assume that even before it was officially mentioned in documents, the “val bella” was used for Alpine agriculture and that the Alpine passage over the Zeinisjoch is over 1,000 years old.  A report from the Roman scribe, Strabo, who lived from 63 BC to 20 AD is also mentioned in the Gaschurn book of local history. 
Every spring and autumn, the big herds of cattle were driven from the Walgau over the Zeinis to spend the summer in the Jamtal or Jam Valley because the people from Walgau owned the grazing rights there.  In his book “Silvretta buch”, Walter Flaig talks about the legendary background of how the Jam Valley came into the hands of the people from Walgau. 
The Zeinisjoch is the focal point for historical and modern development in Oberpaznaun and the Innerfratte.  There is a lot of history between the long ago cultivation of the mountain meadows to the modern day implementation of water power.  Now and again you feel like you’re between two worlds on the Zeinisjoch.  There are traceable boundaries when you look at the climate and the drainage area.  If you look at the effect of the man made border in connection with the difference in the way the language evolved between Tyrol and Vorarlberg, you suddenly become aware of the importance of the Zeinisjoch as a connecting moment in the development of the area.   


P18-1 Zeinisjoch.mp3

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