This is an excerpt from the book “Aosta Valley Itineraries”.
Introd: the sky within reach
There must be something special in that spot as every summer the Pope decides to come here for resting. Is it due to the cheering forest? Or to the gorgeous meadows much appreciated by free riders too? Is it maybe thanks to the marvellous nature? Do come here and discover it by yourselves.
Be amazed by the castle overlooking the village, be thrilled by the bridge reaching 80 meters over the stream, spend some time observing the craftsmen doing their handwork. Do you smell the perfume in the air? Not to be surprised as you are nearby the National Park Gran Paradiso: here Nature feels like home.
Introd: here Nature feels like home
Inhabited since the Neolithic era, Introd looks a bit like an amphitheatre, due to its geomorphologic characteristics.
The village lies at the entrance of the Gran Paradiso Valleys, downwards it borders the river Dora Baltea and upwards the alpine peaks. It’s also delimited by the streams Dora of Rhemes and Savara which gave the name to the village: in French Entre Eaux (between waters).
It’s a great place to spend some relaxing days. Even the Pope John Paul II used to come here to gain new strength. In winter, let’s go to Les Combes for a walk with snow shoes or for cross-country skiing; from there the view of the Mont Blanc is breathtaking. While you are in Les Combes visit the museum dedicated to Pope John Paul II and to his vacations in the valley.
In summer, take your mountain bike on an easy track or reach the halting place Arpilles (1800 meters a.s.l.). Discover the typical art and craft visiting some local wood craftsmen. In the hamlet Villes-Dessus, go with your children to the newly open animal park. See the nearby house Maison Bruil, a great example of rural architecture in the Gran Paradiso area. Actually the building is an exhibition site
There is more to be amazed at in Introd. Right in the center of the village is the castle, built in 1260 by Pierre Sarriod, Lord of Introd. Being private, the castle can not be seen inside, but you can admire its external structure made of the original squared turret surrounded by a few polygonal constructions.
Nearby the castle are the 15th century wood and stone granary and the farmhouse named L’Ola, typical examples of traditional rural architecture. Admire the Parish Church dedicated to the Conversione di San Paolo, its baroque altar, the sacred art museum and the bell tower of 26 meters that is today an historical monument.
The chapel of the Holy Shroud of the 5th century, besides the farmhouse, hosts in summer several expositions. In August, take part to the Fiha di pan nir, the traditional baking of brown bread in the communal wood oven of Norat.
NEWS: INTROD BRIDGE
This bridge was built during the First World War over a chasm more than 80 meters deep. It is a true architectural masterpiece. Building work began on Monday 5th July 1915 and finished one year later.
A great number of workers from Introd and the surrounding villages were employed to build the wooden scaffolding and carry out the stonework. This enormous structure measuring 4 meters wide and 34 meters long was built using whole tree trunks.
Where to stay in Introd
There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.
Castle of Introd
The castle of Introd rises on a promontory, protected by the gorge in which flow the stream Savara and the Dora of Rhemes. The name of Introd, in fact, means “entre eaux”, between waters. The structure is formed by a body of residences situated into the wall, around the courtyard. The main body rises in the middle of the courtyard. The castle was probably built in 1260, but the tower is older, because it is quoted in a document of the year 1244. In the 19th century, a part of the structure, the archives and the furniture burnt in two different fires. The castle was rebuilt in 1910, but the restoration changed the original aspect.
Chapel of Introd
The chapel of Introd is situated nearby the regional road for the valleys of Rhemes and Valsavarenche and is dedicated to the Holy Shroud and to Saint Erasmo. Now, it is deconsecrated and is the seat of concerts and exhibitions. Quarter, have been found ancient tombs that testify pre-roman settlements. Outside, it is possible to see a wooden cross with a shroud and the Christ’s face.
Dairy farm L’Ola
Nearby the castle, you will find the ancient dairy farm L’Ola (15th – 16th centuries). In the past, the main body was used like stable and loft. In the other part of the construction, there were the residence of the lords and some big rooms in which were conserved the products of the farm. Later, an arcade with five big columns and covered by a jutting roof was added.
This granary of the 15th century in stone and wood is situated nearby the castle and rises on the foundations of an older building. Very particular is the gothic lock (which represents an embattled medieval castle) of the main door. The two rooms in the basement have openings that today are completely buried. The tradition says that here, in the night, someone stole the corn and the wheat.
This bridge was built during the First World War over a chasm more than 80 m deep. It is a true architectural masterpiece.
Building work began on Monday 5th July 1915 and finished one year later. A great number of workers from Introd and the surrounding villages were employed to build the wooden scaffolding and carry out the stonework.
This enormous structure measuring 4 m wide and 34 m long was built using whole tree trunks. The stones, transported on large wagons, came from the site named Banquette near the village of Norat.
The existence of a parish church in the village is first recorded in a Bull, dated 1176, of the Pope Alessandro III. All that remains of this church is probably the bell tower which, although rebuilt during the centuries, still preserves traces of its construction during the Romanesque era.
In 1904 the church assumed its present appearance. The congregation contributed directly to the works by offering voluntary labour. The high altar contains a painting of the conversion of Saint Paul attributed to the artist Giacomo Gnifeta (1695). Particularly noteworthy is the gilded tabernacle, shaped like a temple with two overlying rows of miniature columns alternating with niches housing small statues of saints. The statues of Saint Paul (on the left of the altar) and Saint Peter (on the right) complete the decoration. Inside the church it is possible to see an ancient bench of the Sarriod d‘Introd Family. In the parish museum are conserved liturgical objects of the 15th – 16th centuries.
Courtesy of the AIAT Gran Paradis