The history of Kematen
The word Kematen directly refers to the Middle Ages: a Kemenate is a room equipped with a fireplace, a living room, bedroom, women`s chamber or also a courtroom.
Supposedly, an important event took place near Kematen in the early summer of 1027: Emperor Conrad II and his army were on their way back from his coronation in Rome towards the North. On June 1st he issued a document " in monte Rittena in loco qui dicitur Fontana frigida" (i.e. on Mount Renon in a place called cold fountain) and thus donated the counties of Vinschgau and Bozen together with the "Forest on the Ritten" to the Bishop of Trento.
Still today there is the " Kaltenbrunner Wiese" above Lengmoos and near Kematen - and the fact that the emperor rested here shows that Lengmoos was an important location on the journey over the Brenner pass even before the hospice was transferred to the Teutonic Knights (the later Kommende Lengmoos at the apex of the so-called Ulrich Pass). Until the end of the 15th century, what we know today as the "Brenner Route" through the Eisack valley was only a miserable, often impassable mule track, which required the exhausting detour over the Ritten between Kollmann and Bozen.
“Those who ruled the Ritten controlled the traffic between Bavaria and Italy” states the Munich historian Irmgard Heitmeier in her study of the Ritten in the early Middle Ages, who also pointed out that the “forest” on the Ritten was not just a forest, but also a Royal Forest, assigned to a highly organized royal court of Carolingian style.
However, not only the Brenner Route, but also the path via Wangen and through the Sarntal Valley to Bozen led over the Ritten. And still today leads directly past Kematen, which is by no means a surprise as it was already in the late 13th century owned by the powerful noble family of Wangen (Go visit the Wangen-Bellermont Castle on the western slope of Ritten above the Talfer gorge!). One member of that family, Friedrich, was Prince - Bishop of Trento in the early 13th century. This is the last stage of the medieval history of Kematen, which already had a church back then.
Several changes of ownership later, Kematen came into the family of the Barons "von Eyrl", the "von Mayrl" and finally the "von Zallinger-Stillendorfs" family.
Franz von Zallinger-Stillendorf, member of the Reichstag in Vienna, and his wife Lydia, who stemmed from an East Prussian noble family, ordered the master builder Johann Bittner from Bohemia to plan and build the neo-gothic church, finalized in 1896 as a strict replica of the Walbug Church in Göflan in Vinschgau. The mighty barn and the manor house were built around the same time after Black Forest and Tyrolean models.
Kematen was converted into a hotel and restaurant in the 1970s. Since 2014, the Bozen businessman Klaus Wojnar has been the owner. The tenant family of Alois Untermarzoner has been managing Kematen (with an interruption in 1983-89) since 1979.