Sandhof

The place where Andreas Hofer (1767-1810) was born and lived. Its current appearance dates back to the 17th century, when the inn came into the possession of the Hofer family. Parts of the cellar walls date from the 13th century.

In the Middle Ages the Sandhof was known as the “Auflegerhof”, the last stopping place for wagons coming up from Meran. From this point on pack animals and porters would take goods over the Jaufenpass to Sterzing. Andreas Hofer too was active in the pack-animal business. At his time the Sandhof was the best-known inn in the entire valley and was known as the “Golden Crown”.

The name Sandhof comes from the floods caused by the nearby River Passer. The torrent often devastated the valley floor, leaving behind large quantities of sand and gravel; for example in 1774, when the Kummersee Lake below the Timmelsjoch Pass burst its banks, destroying many houses and nearly every bridge as far away as Meran.

When Andreas Hofer died, the Sandhof was heavily in debt. However, with the help of certain creditors, his widow Anna managed to retain possession. In 1838, two years after her death, the Emperor Ferdinand I bought the Sandhof, which had already become a tourist attraction. The innumerable guest books filled since then contain many illustrious names: the highest-ranking guest was the Emperor Francis Joseph I, whose visit in 1899 on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Tyrolean rebellion then turned into the largest ever folk festival in the Passeier Valley. The Andreas Hofer memorial chapel was consecrated on that occasion; it stands directly next to today’s open-air exhibition and contains a picture cycle from the life of Hofer. Since 1982 the Sandhof has had the status of a protected monument.