Steinach Quarter

Merano's oldest district
Walking through the alleys of the Steinach quarter, Merano's oldest district, you breathe in the cool scent of the Middle Ages, especially in summer when the sun shines relentlessly on Merano.
Again and again, the walls here bear witness to great history from the Middle Ages, such as the Passirio Gate, an excellently preserved city gate from the 13th century; but also the inscriptions of old, long-forgotten businesses and trading activities, which are revealed again under flaking layers of paint.

Merano's oldest quarter dates back to the 12th century, and even today the narrow streets in many places offer a glimpse of Merano's most historic houses.
Somehow it seems to the visitor at the upper end of the Portici that a different era begins here: just behind the parish church dating from 1465, the two most important streets of the Steinach quarter begin at Pfarrplatz next to the new Merano City Museum.


The upper alley (Passeirer Gasse) leads past high walls and old buildings. While some of these buildings have been left to themselves, in the lower part you will find a tailor, creative agencies and the notorious East West Club, meeting place of artists and thinkers, but also of the politically left-minded citizens of Merano.

At the end of the alley is the Santer Klause with its Gothic windows and red and white shutters, where until the high Middle Ages the court of Merano met: Here the economy must have once flourished, so under the old layers of paint and plaster former business names keep coming to light.

The lower alley (Hallergasse) houses an interesting mix of modern buildings and those on which the ravages of time have even left some traces. There are also some narrow alleys branching off towards the Passer, whose flooring still consists of old pass stones and the "Ritschen", larger stone blocks in the center of the alley that cover the Steinach, the small stream that gives the Steinach quarter its name.

If you are looking for a few quiet, inspiring moments away from the hustle and bustle of Merano's arcades, you will feel right at home here. Especially in summer, when the cool walls make the heat a lot more bearable.

Coming from the north, today as ever, you enter the Steinach quarter through the 13th century Passirio Gate. If you look up there, you can discover the remains of the old city wall.


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