Hence Count Friedrich von Meerheimb donated to the German-Austrian Alpine Association (D.Ö.A.V.) the money for the construction of an alpine refuge on the 2575 metres high mount Nuvolau. At that time, Cortina was part of the Habsburg Empire, thus the construction of this alpine refuge was entrusted to the Ampezzo section.
The small stone building on the summit of Mt. Nuvolau was officially opened on 11th August 1883.
As a sign of gratitude for the generous financial support, the people of the Ampezzo valley called this small refuge Sachsendankhütte, which in German means "the refuge in thanksgiving of the Saxon".
In 1896, this hut was enlarged.
After Italy entered the war in May 1915, the refuge was used by the Italian artillery as an observatory, the reason why it was targeted and badly damaged by enemy fire.
In 1918, after the defeat of the Habsburg monarchy, the region was assigned to the Kingdom of Italy and the Sachsendank-Hütte entrusted to the Cortina d'Ampezzo section of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI), which, between 1928 and 1929, rebuilt the refuge and reopened it in 1930 with the name Rifugio Nuvolau.
The hut still belongs to the Cortina d’Ampezzo section of the Italian Alpine Club, which enlarged it in 1930 and 1970.
Mansueto Siorpaes and his family have been running the Rifugio Nuvolau since 1973, without excessive luxury, because the Cortina Alpine Club section wants to keep the hut as original as possible, as mountain huts once were.
The Nuvolau is not a very demanding mountain but on the walls overlooking the Giau area, there are many modern climbing routes.
Among the daring ventures of the first generation of mountaineers based at the Sachsendank-Hütte, it’s worth mentioning the climb of the southern chimney of the Gusela in 1899 by the Schmitt sisters with the mountain guides Angelo Maioni and Angelo Gaspari.
This "eagle's nest" enthroned on the mountain peak is still one of the most popular mountain huts in the Dolomites.