The Vinschgau, Vintschgau (German: [ˈfɪn(t)ʃɡaʊ]) or Vinschgau Valley (Italian: Val Venosta [ˈval veˈnɔsta]; Romansh: Vnuost [ˈfnuɔ̯ʃt] (
|Comunità comprensoriale Val Venosta|
Vinschgau district (highlighted in green) within South Tyrol; the yellow-black stripes mark the geographical extent of the valley
|Administrative seat||Schlanders (Silandro)|
|• Total||1,442 km2 (557 sq mi)|
|• Density||24/km2 (63/sq mi)|
The German name Vinschgau, like Italian Val Venosta, is derived from the Celtic (Rhaetian) Venostes tribes mentioned on the ancient Tropaeum Alpium. A Frankish Gau was established under Charlemagne in 772; it was first mentioned in a 1077 deed, when King Henry IV of Germany granted the estates of Schlanders in pago Finsgowe to Bishop Altwin of Brixen.
The Vinschgau Valley runs in a west-east orientation, from the Merano basin at Partschins up the Adige river to Reschen Pass in the northwest. The Ötztal Alps in the north, part of the Alpine crest, separate it from the upper Inn Valley. The Adige valley is further confined by the Sesvenna Alps in the west and the Ortler Alps in the south. It comprises several side valleys, such as the Suldental, the Matscher Tal, or the Schnalstal.
According to the 2001 census, 96.51% of the population of the valley speak German, 3.41% Italian and 0.08% Ladin as first language.
The Vinschgau District (Italian: Comprensorio della Val Venosta; German: Bezirksgemeinschaft Vinschgau) was established in 1962. The district covers the largest part of the Vinschgau region and its side valleys, in which 13 municipalities cooperate:
- Kastelbell-Tschars (Castelbello-Ciardes)
- Graun im Vinschgau (Curon Venosta)
- Glurns (Glorenza)
- Latsch (Laces)
- Laas (Lasa)
- Mals (Malles Venosta)
- Martell (Martello)
- Prad am Stilfserjoch (Prato allo Stelvio)
- Schlanders (Silandro)
- Schluderns (Sluderno)
- Schnals (Senales)
- Stilfs (Stelvio)
- Taufers im Münstertal (Tubre)
The municipalities of Naturns (Naturno), Plaus and Partschins (Parcines) geographically belong to the lower Vinschgau region, though politically they are affiliated with the neighbouring Burggrafenamt district.
- "Vinschgau, Vintschgau, der". Duden Online (in German). Retrieved 4 June 2019.
- Gustav Droysen. Allgemeiner historischer Handatlas (in German).
- Allgemeiner historischer Handatlas, Gustav Droysen
- Bevölkerung und soziales Leben, Statistisches Jahrbuch 2006, p. 120, tab. 3.19