Vaia – The largest wooden Dragon in Europe

Vaia – The largest wooden Dragon in Europe

You are currently viewing Vaia – The largest wooden Dragon in Europe

The winged Dragon of Magré is located in the hamlet of Lavarone, in the Alpe Cimbra.

It is the largest wooden dragon in the world, requiring months of work, 3,000 screws, and 2,000 pieces of shrubbery scraps. A dragon that exceeds 6 meters in height and 7 meters in length, appearing to come out of the greatest fantasy movies of all time. Its extraordinariness also lies in its transience.

Made of untreated wood, it is destined to gradually disappear over time, under the force of snow and wind. A dragon that will return to being pure nature.

The Vaia Storm

In October 2018, the Vaia Storm, an extreme weather event, devastated 42,500 hectares of forests in the mountainous area of the Dolomites and the Venetian Prealps. 42 million trees were felled or irreparably damaged by the fury of rain and wind (a record never seen in recent times in Italy).

They fell to the ground in just three days (October 27, 28, and 29) in the mountainous areas of Veneto and Trentino, with rainfall of up to 715.8 mm recorded at the monitoring station in Longarone, surpassing the data from 1966, and a staggering 870 mm in Forni di Sotto in the Carnic Prealps in Friuli.

On October 29, the scirocco wind gusts reached 192.24 km/h in Veneto, while in Carnia they reached 200 km/h. The extremely strong gusts, comparable according to mountaineer Reinhold Messner to winds experienced on Mount Everest, resulted in the death of entire forests through toppling.

The Story of the Dragon

The dragon was born primarily to give new life to the scraps of shrubbery felled by the Vaia Storm. The artist Marco Martalar began collecting pieces of wood, seeing in them the potential to transform them into works of art. The dragon came to life through meetings between the Mayor of Lavarone and the artist himself. The intention was to create something grand and majestic that could represent the force of destruction but at the same time a sense of protection. The compromise reached between the administration and the artist was the creation of a large dragon, with a gentle yet powerful presence, preferably guarding a valley, which led to the choice of its location overlooking Lavarone from Magré.

The dragon symbolizes the storm, the beginning and the end of everything, standing there as a reminder to understand that it will always be present in defending Mother Nature. It is up to us to grasp its great significance and transmit it to future generations.

How to Get There

The Dragon of Vaia is located in Magrè, a hamlet of Lavarone. There are four walking paths, also feasible in winter, to go see the dragon and enjoy the panorama without crowding the area with cars. The road is reserved for authorized residents, crossing private properties with no parking available, so the only way to reach it is on foot.

The Dragovia offers four routes starting from different points, converging towards the dragon’s location.

  • Path from Passo Cost
  • Path from Bertoldi
  • Path from Gionghi
  • Path from the Enchanted Den

Hiking boots are recommended, but the paths are suitable for everyone, adults, and children. For those with mobility difficulties, we recommend taking the Tablat chairlift for the ascent.

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