The little church of Prato alla Drava: border place
The Prato alla Drava area is located almost on the Italian-Austrian border, in Val Pusteria. A day trip that takes us to one of the many areas that best represent the magical landscape of our valley. In summer, the little church of Prato alla Drava stands out amidst the bright green of the surrounding meadow. In winter, however, it looks like a small lookout whose red pointed roof can be seen in a blanket of snow.
Prato alla Drava is a town on the border of South Tyrol with East Tyrol and is located at 1160 meters above sea level. 320 people live in the small town. The church is dedicated to S. Nicolò, and is located, like many churches in the area, on the top of a hill from where it overlooks the whole valley
The first reference we find referring to this church dates back to 1507. The frescoes inside date back to the Renaissance and represent the coronation of Mary as reported by the legend of San Nicolò. The altars, pulpits and confessionals date from the 19th century and are in the Baroque style.
It is located at the foot of Monte Elmo and its excursions (which we talked about here), and in winter it becomes a fairytale setting to enjoy with snowshoes or a bit of cross-country skiing.
From Prato alla Drava it is easy to reach the nearby Lienz with its Austrian atmospheres, also through the cycle path that winds from Val Pusteria from Rio Pusteria to this splendid Austrian pearl. Perfect for a day of shopping, in case of bad weather!
Also in Prato alla Drava there is also the Loreto Chapel: its construction is linked to the pilgrim Johann Klettenhammer who in the 17th century brought an image of the famous Loreto Church to Val Pusteria. The Loreto chapel was built based on that original image.
Another place not to be missed if we are in this area, is certainly the Chapel of San Silvestro. Reachable with a nice hike, it is the right place to stop and take a little moment of introspection, be it a prayer, a meditation or, as befits, a song.