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Open Air Museum

​The Plöckenpass

The pass route, which had already been used by the Celts, was further developed by the Romans as the “Via Julia Augusta”.

In 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars, French troops marched over the pass, and in 1866, the Italian commander Giuseppe Garibaldi, who took up residence in the Plöckenhaus for some time, occupied the Plöckenpass with his irregular troops. Eventually, “Kärntner Freiwillige Schützen” (Carinthian Volunteer Riflemen) pushed them back south over the pass.

In the same year, the entire Carnic ridge was turned into the border between Austria and the Kingdom of Italy. Thus, the Plöckenpass, being the only navigable pass in the Carnic Alps, formed a crucial strategic position as the entrance to the valleys Gailtal and Drautal.

With Italy’s declaration of war on Austria-Hungary on 23 May 1915, the Carnic ridge became the front line, with battles focusing heavily on the area around the Plöckenpass. In late autumn of 1917, the Austrian-German breakthrough led by Flitsch and Tolmein forced the Italian army to vacate the Carnic front.

Since 1983, the Friends of the Dolomites and their volunteers have been working in the area of the Plöckenpass. They have set themselves the task of restoring parts of the defence emplacements there in order to preserve them as open air museum and, at the same time, as a memorial against war for future generations.

With the active support of the property owners, the Gressel family, we have been able to construct an open air museum that attracts thousands of visitors every year.

The open air museum consists of several parts that are located in close proximity to each other. The sectors are not separated or fenced off. Entrance is free of charge and at your own risk.


The Hausalm above the Plöckenhaus can be reached via a short stretch of gravel road, passing the lake Grünsee. The hut was destroyed in 1915 but was rebuilt later.

It now serves as the base camp for the Friends of the Dolomites. This is also the starting point of the cable car leading to the Kl. Pal, some of whose technical specifics date back to 1917. More…

The first part, which was restored in the years of 1983-87, is the so-called Machine Gun Nose (Maschinengewehr-Nase). The reconstruction is true to the original, and you do not have to be an experienced hiker to reach the site from the parking lot below the Plöckenpass. More...
Kleiner Pal
The largest sector of the open-air museum on the Plöcken with its numerous restored Austro-Hungarian and Italian emplacements can be found in the summit area of the Kleiner Pal. More…
Cellon tunnel
Since the channels of supply to the Austrian positions on the Cellonschulter (Cellon shoulder) were observable by the Italians after they had conquered the Cellon, the Imperial and Royal army leadership decided to construct a tunnel leading upwards through the mountain in order to secure the line of supply to the shoulder. More...
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