The History of Primiero

The oldest historical documents in which the Valle di Primiero is mentioned date back to shortly after the beginning of the eleventh century; from these documents it is clear that the area was subject to the rule of the parish of Feltre. It is believed, however, that the earliest settlements in the valley date back at least a further six centuries.
In fact, the restoration of the Chiesa Arcipretale (deanery church) in Fiera brought to light the foundations of earlier churches, the oldest of which dates back to around the V-VI centuries. Its size was only slightly smaller than the present-day church, attesting to the fact that a stable and relatively sizeable community was already settled in the valley at the time.
After a series of historical events and changes of power, in 1373 Primiero came under Tyrol-Habsburg rule. On 22 March 1401, Duke Leopold, Count of Tyrol, granted the Valle di Primiero in perpetual feudal tenure to Giorgio Welsperg, from Val Pusteria, for 4000 gold florins. Under Welsperg rule, the mining activities of the valley developed with the extraction of metals such as silver, iron and copper, using skilled workers of German origin. In the XV century, Primiero became one of the most important and productive mining centres of the House of Austria. In that period, the town of Fiera expanded due to its role as a leading trading hub and developed a bilingual culture. During the historic events of the Napoleonic era, the valley came under Bavarian rule and was later re-annexed to the Austrian empire.
After the Congress of Vienna, the valley was annexed to Trentino and then passed definitely to Italy with the end of the First World War. The special autonomy granted to the Trentino - Alto Adige region was sanctioned with the Gruber - De Gasperi agreement after the Second World War and, since 1972, the region has been divided into the two autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano.
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