Gries is a hamlet of the village of Canazei which covers a wide, lush area crossed by the Soracrepa Brook. Originally consisting of very few buildings, known as tobié, of which four splendid examples have remained, recent years have seen significant urban development here.
Legend has it that the village was totally destroyed by a great landslide that left just one house standing, the so-called ‘strong-house’, which unlike the other wooden constructions, was made of stone (it is located near the modern-day police station). In 1860 and 1912, it suffered the devastation of two terrible fires and was then rebuilt according to traditional standards.
The hamlets of Mortic and Soracrepa, inhabited until 1900, were erased by floods and landslides.
The origins of the name Gries
The name Gries is German in origin and probably derives from the term ‘Griess’ or ‘coarse sand’. This is probably due to the type of land typical of this hamlet: pebbles, coarse-grained dust and sand due to the geological instability.
The local inhabitants are known as ‘Botaces’, or ‘Botticelle’ (small barrels) to indicate their talent for making barrels, the wooden containers used for the fermentation of sauerkraut.