Summer solstice fires on the Nordkette mountains above Innsbruck, © Tirol Werbung/Christian Wührer

The 10 Most Spectacular Mountain Fires in Tirol

As the longest day of the year draws to a close, bonfires are lit on mountaintops all over the region to celebrate the summer solstice.

The tradition of lighting bonfires in the mountains around the 21 June dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. Numerous local clubs and associations climb into the mountains each year to build mighty fires high above the valley floor. Shortly after nightfall these fires are set ablaze and illuminate the mountains to create a mystical atmosphere. In 2018 these spectacular fiery scenes depicting secular and Christian motifs and symbols can be seen on June 23.

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (second Sunday after Corpus Christi) is also still celebrated in many parts of Tirol. It reminds of the year 1796, when an oath was sworn with the Sacred Heart of Jesus to protect Tirol from the invading French troops. As a sign of the oath, Sacred Heart fires were lit on mountain tops and slopes. This tradition continues in parts of Tirol today. In 2018 the Sacred Heart fires will be lit on the weekend of June 9 and 10.


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