It is now a long time – 260 million years – since trees resembling today’s araucaria grew in Mölten/Meltina. The ginkgos produced feathery leaves, while tree-high horsetails stood between the village of Mölten/Meltina and the Möltner Kaser hut. It is astonishing that clearly identifiable forms of these South Tyrolean primeval forests remain: trees fell into the riverbank or were carried along by the current, embedded in sand and finally transformed into fossils.
They can now be seen in the Fossil Museum, which was revitalised in 2023 and designed as an outdoor exhibition. It shows the best of the finds from the area around Mölten/Meltina. Particularly noteworthy are the fossil tree and plant remains, some 260 million years old, as well as the footprints of a small reptile.
What is special about the fossils in Mölten/Meltina? There are only three places in South Tyrol where plant fossils from the Late Permian have been recovered: the Bletterbach Gorge; Seceda; and Mölten/Meltina. The finds from Mölten/Meltina are the only ones that reveal entire trees. Details of their growth, their branches, roots and size are all clearly visible, which makes it possible to reconstruct entire forests.
A guided tour of the museum with one of our local experts is highly recommended. Booking is possible by means of direct requests to the tourist office email@example.com . Guided tours are available in German, Italian and English.