Dobbiaco - Toblach, Province of Bolzano, Trentino Alto Adige, Italy. Called "gateway to the Dolomites" (Tor zu den Dolomiten) and one of the three places called "Comune delle Tre Cime" (=Three Peaks) along with San Candido and Sesto, Dobbiaco is in Val Pusteria (Pustertal), the "green valley", protected to the south by the Dolomites (Cima Nove, Monte Serla) and to the other sides by the West Tauri and Carnic Alpso.
In a strategic location at the crossroads of the main routes leading from Venice to Munich and from the Adige Valley to the Drava basin, Dobbiaco is divided into two parts by the Alpine Dobbiaco watershed; the river Drava, a tributary of the Danube, springs in the east of the territory. Although politically Italian, Dobbiaco is outside the physical territory of Italy, which is entirely within the Mediterranean basin, while the Drava and Danube belong to the Black Sea basin. Another important river which flows below the village is the Rienza, which springs at the foot of the Three Peaks and, passing by the Dobbiaco lake (Toblacher See), crosses the val Pusteria to Bressanone, entering then the Isarco, which in turn flows into the Adige.
The territory is divided into two areas calles "Old Dobbiaco" (Alt-Toblach), in a more elevated position (1,256 m above sea level) in the San Silvestro valley, and "New Dobbiaco" (Neu-Toblach), built in the early 20th century in the vicinity of the railway station, at the mountain pass. The two areas are clearly separated by the Val Pusteria state road.
The earliest human settlements in Dobbiaco may have begun during the Hallstatt period; the first mention of the place is in 827 AD. The area became of strategic importance as a connecting trade route from Venice to Germany.
In the 19th century the monks of San Candido built the first church in Dobbiaco. When a railroad was built in Val Pusteria in 1871, tourism started to grow, with urban developments in New Dobbiaco. During World War One here passed the frontline, and the church and many buildings were destroyed.
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