The trade of lime burning in "Sautener Forchet"

. Posted in Limekilns


ACCESSIBILITY: from the outside
ADDRESS: the village road
GEOGRAPHIC COORDINATES: 47.212640, 10.845323 (new lime kiln)
PROVINCE: North Tyrol

DIRECTIONS: The replicated lime kiln is part of the lime-burning adventure facility and is located near the sports field in the municipality of Sautens. Driving on the Inntal motorway A12, take the exit Haiming - Ötztal and proceed on the B186 (main road) until the exit Sautens. In Sautens follow the village road to the sports field of SK Sautens. There are parking spaces available. Both the old and the new lime kilns can be reached on foot via the "Geoweg Roppen - Sautens".


Approximately 3,000 years ago, the so-called Tschirgant rock slide covered the lower stretches of the Ötz Valley (Ötztal). The resulting debris are the reason for the undulating topography of the terrain between Haiming, Sautens and the mouth of the Ötztal. The formerly unproductive agricultural area led to its unhindered transformation in woodland. In the sixteenth century, the local population realised that the terrain offers ideal conditions for lime burning. The collapsed material (limestone and dolomite rock) was used as raw matter; the nearby forest provided the necessary combustion material. The old dome-shaped field lime kiln located in Rammelstein, reaches two and a half metres in height and has a diameter of three and a half metres. Before the burning process begins, the stones taken from the rockslide are layered in the kiln, leaving some space between the individual stone blocks, near the bottom of the furnace, so that the wood necessary to maintain the required temperature can be thrown in the kiln for several days. The still preserved lime kiln and the newly built one in "Sautener Forchet" gives us an insight in the now lost lime-burning trade, which in the past was one of the primary sustenance sources for many families.

Restructured historical lime kiln in Restructured historical lime kiln in "Sautener Forchet" built with layered quarry stones (dolomite rock, amongst others)

A lime kiln constructed in 2004 as part of the lime-burning adventure park in Sautens.A lime kiln constructed in 2004 as part of the lime-burning adventure park in Sautens.


Old lime kilns can be distinguished from their modern counterparts by the different structure of the lime-burning installation. With modern lime shaft furnaces, the lime and the combustion material (coke) are mixed already before pouring them into the kiln. The old field lime kilns, on the other hand, are filled with the combustion material (wood) at the bottom, with limestone blocks stacked in layers ver it.


L. Auer, Chronik Sautens – Kalkbrennen in Sautens, 2009.

AUTHOR: Tobias Bader, 30/04/2020



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