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A short history of the estate

A stopover on the Emperor’s route

The origin of the Stafler inn dates back to 1270 when the Brennerpass route was still called the “Emperor’s route”. This is because at the time emperors and kings had to travel to Rome for their coronation; there were also merchants and travelling entertainers that moved from South to North whereas soldiers and monks were headed south towards the Holy Lands. In this era the Stafler inn was called “Zum Einhorn” (“Unicorn”) and was not only an inn but also a farmstead.

The “Kuntner Road” takes some dangers away from the mountain route


In the 14th century the Kuntner road was built through the narrow Isarco valley between Bolzano and Chiusa, thus taking away many of the perils of the route that had been feared by pilgrims, travellers and merchants for long centuries. The Einhorn Inn profited from this: there were more and more guests stopping over.

The new artificial road “Brennerweg”


In the 18th century the Empress Maria Theresa had the former Brenner trail transformed into a 5-meter- wide artificial road, thus guaranteeing a regular transit traffic between the ancient Tyrolean regions. The Einhorn Inn became a postal coaching inn. This was no coincidence: At the time a private coach drawn by a couple of horses took five full days to cover the journey from Bolzano to Innsbruck. A postal coach took 15 hours. The Unicorn Inn was just right for a stopover and the extensive farm yielded enough for the numerous guests.

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The railway takes business away


In 1867 the double-track railway from Bolzano to Innsbruck was completed after a construction period of only three years. The Staflers were not excited: This meant that overnight the traffic of goods and people along the old road dwindled drastically. But the introduction of the railway also favoured the first forms of tourism: rich travellers, noblemen and writers flocked to the health resorts in South Tyrol. Many of them also visited the Stafler. In our very own heritage museum “Kramer” you will find many pictures and texts documenting this!

From coaching inn to Romantik Hotel

It was only after World War II, when private cars became affordable for all classes of society, that the Stafler began changing its characteristics. It was increasingly in demand as an accommodation, being in the middle of a holiday area. Both summer holiday makers and winter holiday makers remained faithful to the Stafler Hotel. It was the long experience that allowed the Staflers to interpret the spirit of the age correctly: Top quality and a vast choice were paramount from the beginning.

Our quality is based on centuries-old traditions


Today the Romantik Hotel Stafler is a four-star hotel, situated on the old Brennerpass road in Mules, far from the motorway and in an ideal panoramic position in the midst of spectacular mountain areas which are excellent for hiking in summer and for skiing in winter (4 ski areas nearby). But it is not only the hotel, it is also the restaurant that relies on the centuries-old traditions when it comes to catering. In fact, no one can easily top our genuinely South Tyrolean specialties!

Where does the name “Mauls/Mules” really come from?

The first document with the name of the village dates back to the High Middle Ages, precisely to the second half of the 10th century, where we find the term “Mules”. Then in the late Middle Ages there appeared numerous historical documents bearing the name “Muls”, “Movls” or “Mowls”. Towards the end of the late Middle Ages the name “Mauls” had become generally accepted and in the later centuries we only very rarely find different spellings. However, we don’t know exactly when the village was founded. We can say that the Mithras Stone and the tombstone of Aurelia Ruffina, found not far away from Mauls, are important Roman findings, but aren’t proof that there was a permanent Roman settlement. The etymological origin of the name is even more difficult
to explain. Probably the name “Mauls” comes from a pre-Roman term for “mountain or pasture area” and could indicate the sloping area in the “Sengestal” where there are some houses of today’s village.