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9 settembre 2007

King of Fanes eventually discovered

Obviously, not his mortal remains, but his stone effigy at Falzarego Pass.

"He, who crosses today over the Falzarego pass and looks at monte Lagazuoi, can see on the cliffs the King of Fanis turned into stone, with his long beard and a stone-spiked crown". By these words, Karl Felix Wolff described the king's effigy "who, they say, gave his name to the pass" (see. The Fanes kingdom: 6 - The end of the kingdom). I had never been able to retrieve it until now, and even several Ladinians, when asked, had been unable to indicate it as well (many others may have been perfectly aware). For shooting the movie "Le Rëgn de Fanes", Susy Rottonara told me she searched long, and eventually she found out a big boulder, between the Falzarego and the Valparola passes, the profile of which was very well suited (see photo at bottom). However, "her" rock, albeit responding at movie requirements, didn't convince me at all, as it didn't show any of the features listed by Wolff. Eventually, and serendipitously, while I was looking for images on Google on quite another subject, I caught a glimpse on the photo here below (by courtesy of A. Foschian, whom I warmly thank), and I "saw" it on the spot. This king may require a good deal of fantasy, as Susy says, but he has got all that is needed: he wears his long beard, has a stone-spiked crown, is a macroscopical enough structure to have the pass named after him, and finally he can be seen, looking at mount Lagazuoi, from the Falzarego pass only, because of a play of perspective; besides, he is well visible only close to sunset, otherwise the flattened shadows have a tendency to hide his shape.
This of course is no capital discovery, or better re-discovery, but a small curiosity that I deem eventually revealed.
My opinion can't be modified by the existence of the bizarre cliff mentioned by Meridiani Montagne n°.29, pgs. 38-39 (see News). It is an erosion relic, somewhat shaped like a human head, but missing all three basic features described by Wolff: it can't be seen from the Falzarego pass (it is located close to forcella Travenanzes), and it shows neither a spiked crown, nor a beard. It can be ruled out, therefore, from being the regal image pointed out by Ladinian traditions.

The Lagazuoi as seen from Falzarego pass
(photo by Fox -



The "Stone King" that was used for the movie "Le Rëgn de Fanes" (; image taken from a film frame.