The Covered Bridge of Soelden

Alpine skiing is one of very few sports I enjoy watching. If you do too, you will have noticed this season’s Ski World Cup has begun. As usual, the opening races take place in Soelden in Austria’s Oetztal Valley.

Looking at the world’s fastest skiers tear down the slopes, I was reminded of how attractive this Alpine village looks all dressed in summer garb. At ca. 470 km² (about 180 square miles), Soelden is actually Austria’s largest municipality. Lots of space for the 3 500 inhabitants.

View from Bergland hotel, Soelden, Austria

Gaislachkoglbrücke, Sölden

Lovely, isn’t it? You’re almost spoiled for scenic beauty in the Alps. So much, you might become – dare I say it – blasé. That’s why I was so pleased to discover this little jewel in the landscape:

covered bridge

I adore the old covered bridges that are so prevalent in the Alps. Not surprising then, that this man-made structure is my favourite feature of Soelden.

Gaislachkoglbrücke, Sölden

This covered bridge is called Gaislachkoglbrücke (Gaislachkogl Bridge), named for one of the many mountains surrounding the village.

Gaislachkoglbrücke, Sölden

Meanwhile, back at the races, my fave skier, Aksel Lund Svindal, placed at no. 12. I have high hopes; Aksel did win gold in the Super G at the Vancouver Olympics, after all. Here’s wishing him better luck in the coming rounds of the circus.

Disclosure: I visited Sölden as a guest of the Austrian Tourist Board. As ever, any opinions expressed are my own.

Do you follow the Alpine Ski World Cup? Or are you perhaps more interested in old bridges?

Center map


31 Responses to “The Covered Bridge of Soelden”

  1. jenjenk 16 November 2011 0326 #

    skiing in the alps is on my bucket list! As much as I love the ocean, i love the silence and stillness of the mountains…it’s so soothing to my soul….

  2. Muza-chan 16 November 2011 0752 #

    Beautiful, I love covered bridges 🙂

  3. Anne-Sophie Redisch 16 November 2011 1426 #

    Jen and Muza-chan. Thanks 🙂

  4. Robert 16 November 2011 1431 #

    I saw the race. America’s gonna win, you know 😉

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 16 November 2011 1445 #

      Robert – I have to admit you’re doing well so far. But we’ve just started … mwahahaha

  5. Nancie 17 November 2011 0038 #

    Lovely shots, Sophie. The covered bridges are fantastic. I am not a skier but I do love watching it on TV (there’s that Canadian coming out again!). It’s hard to find on TV here in Korea, but when I do find it I watch.

  6. Michael 17 November 2011 0105 #

    These covered bridges are very southern German. Or at least that’s where I’ve seen most of them. I like them a lot too. And this one looks strangely familiar.

  7. Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 November 2011 0132 #

    Michael – strange, isn’t it 😉 (Enjoyed our little hike in Sölden)

  8. David Bennett 17 November 2011 0152 #

    Yes, the scenery looks tranquil; all the more so with the wonderful green of the water. Must be lovely to stand on the bridge and watch the water flow by.

  9. Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 November 2011 0430 #

    Nancie and David – thanks 🙂

  10. 50+ and on the Run 17 November 2011 0531 #

    Very nice. I have seen lots of covered bridges in New Hampshire and Vermont; sadly many of them have fallen into such disrepair that they can’t be used anymore.

  11. Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 November 2011 0636 #

    50+ – I’ve not seen any of the covered bridges in the USA yet; you have some lovely ones I want to have a look at. Don’t expect I’ll see Clint Eastwood hanging about with a camera, though…

  12. Denise 17 November 2011 0735 #

    neither. I’m not into Alpine sports and wooden bridges are just wooden bridges. I’ve never understiood the fuss over Luzern’s one! But the mountains are stunning

  13. Jim 17 November 2011 0749 #

    Any old wooden structures or architecture grabs me. I just love inspecting the craftsmanship- how they were all locked together, whether without nails and using wooden pegs or just mitred, dovetailed or locked together.

  14. RyukyuMike 17 November 2011 0820 #

    Awesome shots you’ve captured here ! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Turkey's For Life 17 November 2011 0855 #

    I’m not a huge fan of watching skiing (probably because the Brits are not the best skiers 🙂 ) but I love the scenery, especially in summer. Would love to go trekking round there.

  16. Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 November 2011 1246 #

    @ Denise – I think there is something romantic about these old covered bridges, how they are built, how they seem to belong to another era, the idea of people walking across them say 100 years ago, where they were going and what they were thinking about. Makes my imagination run a bit wild these bridges.

    @Jim – That’s an interesting aspect as well… today, things aren’t as often made with care and built to last.

    @Mike – thanks

    @Julia – Know what you mean, we’re all a bit nationalistic when it comes to spectator sports.

  17. InsideJourneys 17 November 2011 1325 #

    I LOVE covered bridges! But the landscape is what captured me. Absolutely beautiful. I can just see the skiers swishing down the slopes.

  18. Leigh 17 November 2011 1608 #

    What a charming area of Austria.
    I’m with you on watching skiing – could never imagine going at the speed they do though.
    Wonder what the vertical is on these ski hills??

  19. Sabrina 17 November 2011 1938 #

    What a pretty bridge! You can really imagine how much they would have looked the same a long time ago… even if some are fairly new. I was just surprised by the water color. Looks a little… grey?

  20. Cathy Sweeney 17 November 2011 1943 #

    I do love to watch Alpine skiing, but admit I haven’t followed the World Cup races yet. I also love covered bridges and you really found a beauty in Soelden. Love the photos.

  21. Michael Figueiredo 17 November 2011 2008 #

    Beautiful photos! I, too, love covered bridges 🙂

  22. Yes Sophie these are beautiful pictures! I’m just sorry I wasn’t able to visit this area with you. This is my kind of place and I would have loved it. Oh well, another time 🙂

  23. Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 November 2011 2102 #

    @InsideJourneys – Thanks.

    @Leigh – Don’t know the verticals for Sölden, but the norm in Austria seems to be vertical drops of over 4,000 ft.

    @Sabrina – Yes, I was wondering about that, too. I think it might have to do with the mineral content, or the depth of the river, or possibly even the reflection of the surrounding mountains…

    @Cathy, Michael, Debbie – Thanks for your comments.

  24. Vera Marie Badertscher 17 November 2011 2136 #

    Stunning scenery. Yes, you should visit the covered bridges in the U.S. Ohio has quite a few covered bridges that you can still see and at least walk across. Granted the surrounding scenery is not quite as dramatic, but it is softly beautiful.

  25. Vera Marie Badertscher 17 November 2011 2139 #

    Tried to post the url for a list of Ohio Covered Bridges, but got something wrong. So here’s trying again:
    A lot of these survive because of the Amish population who still use horse and buggy for transportation.

  26. Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 November 2011 2235 #

    @Vera Marie – The ones in Iowa are famous because of the film, and I’ve heard of a few in New England. I didn’t know there were covered bridges in Ohio, as well – and so many!! Very interesting with the Amish connection all the way over in Ohio.

  27. Jade 17 November 2011 2257 #

    Would love to go skiing there. And the scenery is just breathtaking.

  28. ItalianNotes 18 November 2011 1453 #

    I can’t follow your fascination of Alpine skiing, but I appreciate the mountains in summer and the charm of a roofed wooden bridge.

  29. Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2011 2305 #

    @Jade and Mette – thanks for reading 🙂

  30. Eileen Ludwig 15 December 2011 1523 #

    Love old covered bridges – New England has a lot of them and they are a fascination

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