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The hut was built in 1898 and was inaugurated August 21 1899, becoming the starting point for mountaineers who wanted to climb the Presanella, along the northern side. It is located at an altitude of 2298 m. on a terrace just below a small lake at the foot of the moraine of the glacier Presanella.
The refuge is dedicated to Father Francesco Denza, Barnabite, eminent astronomer and meteorologist.
The first ascent climbing to the top of Presanella took place August 27 1864 by a group composed by mountaineers DW Freshfield, M. and Beachcroft ID Walker, with Francois Devouassoud, Chamonix guide, and Bortolo Delpero from Vermiglio. The expedition moved from Vermiglio and conquered, in addition to the main peak, the other two peaks: Gabbiolo and Vermiglio. The Tyrolean Delpero had attempted the climb two years before with the glaciologist Viennese Anton Von Ruthner, in vain. Another climber, the Bohemian Julius Payer, conqueror of Adamello, along with mountain guide Girolamo Botteri and two Kaiserjager, climbed to the top of Presanella from Val di Genova, September 17, 1864. At the top, with weather conditions not particularly favorable, Payer discovered to his disappointment that the group of Freshfield had preceded it.
WORLD WAR I: “These mountains indescribably beautiful that for years were patrolled by death rides and with our visit offer us the opportunity to honor the memory of the fallen.” Heinz von Lichem
The unpaved road that leads to drive the Forte Pozzi Alti was built in 1906 by the Kaiserjager, with the help of local masons and craftsmen. Once at the park you can visit the Fort Pozzi Alti, built between 1906 and 1912 , recently renovated. The 233 is an old mule trail, still well preserved, and leads to the refuge Denza, once the logistics base of the outpost Passo Cercen. The Monte Cercen was the headquarters of Standschuetzen Lienz, supported also by the battalion Standschuetzen Cles and Cusiano. War on these positions, not being the front line, had no notable events. It seems that the place was used as base for soldiers’ ski courses.