Rofen as well as Vent were populated from the Schnalstal valley across the Niederjoch peak.
The first documeted reference comes from the 13th century. Shepherds spent the summers here with their flocks. In the early autumn, they were surprised by large amounts of snow and unable to return home across the 3006 m high Niederjoch. They were forced to spend the winter here in makeshift huts. This is how the first settlement came about.
Rofen is the highest permanently inhabited settlement of Austria and the Eastern Alps. It has a special story:
As certified "Schildhof" they had special rights since 1348, assigned to them by a protection letter called „Ludwig the Brandenburger“ against the bishop of Chur. Thus Rofen had its own court until 1803, that belonged to the circle of Bolzano. They had tax exemption, hunting rights, fishing rights and also the right to carry weapons.
The Tyrolean sovereign Duke Friedrich with the empty bag fell out of favour with Emperor Sigismund in 1415 and was held hostage by him. On 23 March 1416 he managed to escape via Feldkirch to Tyrol. His way led him far up into the Ötztal mountains, to the Rofenhöfe, over 2,000 m high, where he found refuge. Subsequently, Duke Friedrich granted the Rofenhof family the right of asylum which was respected at the time.