Rauris Valley is one of the few continuously settled Tauern valleys and was for centuries regarded as a center of gold mining. As a consequence, Rauris Valley – along with Kolm Saigurn valley head and Seidlwinkltal – is able to look back on a long and fascinating history.
Various finds show that the mountain routes across the Rauriser Tauern (Hochtor) were traveled even in earliest times. These include a massive gilded neck ring at the Maschlalm in Seidlwinkltal from the La Tène period ca. 400 B.C. A copy of this piece is on display at the Valley Museum in Rauris.
Settlement of the valley spread from south to north. Today’s town of Rauris was previously named after the Gaisbach, upon whose alluvial fan it was built, and was first chronicled back in the year 1120. The name “Gaisbach” itself probably originated with the fact that stream flowed into the main valley between steep, narrow rock faces where goats would graze (“Geiss” is a she-goat, “Bach” a stream). In 1122, when Bishop Heinrich von Freising transferred two estates to his brother Count Friedrich von Peilstein, the name "Rurise" appears for the first time with reference to the entire valley .
The most shaping influence on the valley came from gold mining, of course, which reached its height in the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time, around 3,000 people lived in Rauris Valley, with 450 mines in operation.
Would you like to learn more about the history of Rauris Valley? In the 14 rooms of the Valley Museum visitors are told how the first skis came to Rauris, how gold mining shaped Rauris Valley, and how Europe’s highest permanent weather station was created. In the tourist office, you can obtain books about the history of Rauris Valley as well as its old houses – our team will be happy to assist. .