A particularly healing air reigns around the waterfall of Barbian; the humidity and evaporative mist alone are refreshing. The true “special feature”, however, is the high concentration of negative ions. In our apartments, the negative ion density is 100 per cm³, the air in the village, 200 per cm³, in the mountains and at sea level 5,000 and, at the waterfall, 50,000!!! They bind dust and waste gases, stimulate the immune system, harmonise the mucous membrane, calm the automatic nervous system and the circulatory system and have an all-round revitalising effect. Given that they facilitate gas exchange in the lungs, the “waterfall cure” is also recommended for asthma and allergies.
An easy walk from Barbian takes you to the foot of the first waterfall, which, with a drop of 85m, is the best-known in South Tyrol. A jumble of porphyry blocks the size of a room bear witness to the mighty force of erosion.
The source river of the Gaderbach flows over the Rittner Horn at 2000m and gushes down over a steep 200m high slope in the form of eight waterfalls. The whole drainage basin is formed of Bozen Quartz porphyry, formed 300 million years ago from volcanic rock. Given that porphyry beds retain little water, the Gaderbach falls are particularly impressive as the snow melts in April/May. After heavy rainfall in the summer, the lower lying waterfalls often become a mere trickle as they are “tapped” for irrigation of the surrounding fields.