The "Grosses Walsertal" is a sparsely populated mountain valley characterized by alpine farming and lies northeast of Bludenz in Vorarlberg, Austria. Approx. 3,500 people live on a surface area of barely 200 square kilometers in the six communities of Thüringerberg, Blons, St. Gerold, Raggal, Sonntag and Fontanella. After being settled by Rhaeto-Romance people in the 10th century, around 1300 the Monforter dukes brought Walliser mercenaries from Switzerland to guard the passes and borders and offered them lands in return. The mercenaries were followed by many Walser families and settled the valley. The typical scattered settlement structure of the Walser still bears witness to this history today.