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Course of the Inn
Upper Engadin, view from below the Bergell summit Motta Salacina to the northeast towards Sils , with Maloja in the foreground

The Engadin ( Romansh Engiadina ? / I , Nagiadegna and Gidegna, Italian Engadina , possibly derived from En, the Romansh name of the river Inn ) is a high valley in the Swiss canton of Graubünden . It is one of the highest inhabited valleys in Europe and is more than 80 km long. It forms the upper valley level of the Inn and is divided into the Upper and Lower Engadine . The boundary between the two sections of the mountain valley is marked by the Ova da Punt Ota brook , which flows into the Inn from the left between Cinuos-chel (fraction of the municipality of S-chanf ) and Brail (fraction of the municipality of Zernez ). The Punt Ota , which crosses the stream above the mouth, is a landmark . Audio file / audio sample


The valley appears for the first time by name as vallis Eniatina in a Latin source from 930. The Engadin philologist Robert von Planta suggested that the name can be explained by an unproven tribal name * Eniates . In this case it would be a derivation of the river name Inn (< Aenus / Enus ) with the Celtic suffix -ates to denote the inhabitants, residents; Engadin thus means “among the residents of the Inn”.


Upper Engadine

The Upper Engadine Lake District: Lake Silvaplana and Lake Sils

The Upper Engadin (Rätorom. Engiadin'Ota ) is characterized by a flat valley floor with lakes at 1600 to 1800 m (Engadine lake district: Lake Sils , Lake Silvaplana , Lej da Champfèr and Lake St. Moritz ), pine and larch forests, and especially in the side valleys, by glaciers . Due to the altitude, the valley floor has a high-montane to subalpine climate and is one of the coldest regions in the Alps in winter. The meadows in the valley are bordered by only moderately steep mountain slopes, over which mostly rugged snow peaks tower. On the shadowy slopes in the south, coniferous forests and alpine pastures extend above them; the horizontal borderline is clearly visible. The Upper Engadin is connected to the Puschlav by the Bernina Pass and to the Bergell by the Malojapass ; to the north it connects the Julierpass with the Oberhalbstein and the Albulapass with the Albula valley. The northeastern part of the Upper Engadine towards the Lower Engadine is called La Plaiv .

Localities in the Upper Engadin

(down the valley): Maloja (a fraction and former alp of the Bergell village of Stampa and therefore politically part of the Italian-speaking Bergell), Sils (Segl), Silvaplana (Silvaplauna), Surlej (belongs to Silvaplana), Champfèr (a two-part faction, which is divided by a The village river is politically divided between St. Moritz and Silvaplana), St. Moritz (San Murezzan), Celerina (Schlarigna), Pontresina (Puntraschigna), Samedan , Bever , La Punt-Chamues-ch , Madulain , Zuoz , S-chanf , Cinuos -chel (a fraction of the municipality of S-chanf)

Side valleys

Larger valleys are the in Samedan from the southeast from the Bernina Pass coming down Val Bernina with the place Pontresina and the Val Bever Bever.

Lower Engadine

The Lower Engadine, looking east to the Lower Engadine Dolomites

The Lower Engadine (Rhaetorom. Engiadina Bassa ) has a significantly greater gradient (from 1610 to 1019 m). It is narrower and wilder than the Upper Engadine. The Inn rushes over rocks here and digs through narrow walls. The wildest of its gorges is that of Finstermünz , where it leaves Swiss territory.

The Lower Engadine is connected to the Landwassertal near Davos via the Flüelapass and to the Val Müstair via the Ofenpass . In addition, there has been a rail connection to Prättigau through the Vereina tunnel since 1999 , which, along with the Julier Pass (which is only partially safe for winter) and the Albula Railway , both in the Upper Engadine, is the only year-round transport connection between the Engadine and the rest of Switzerland.

After the border with Austria, the Upper Inn Valley connects to the Lower Engadine.

Locations in the Lower Engadine

(down the valley): Zernez municipality : Brail , Zernez, Susch , Lavin ; Scuol municipality : Giarsun , Guarda , Bos-cha , Ardez , Ftan , Tarasp , Scuol, Sent ; Valsot municipality : Vnà , Ramosch , Seraplana and Raschvella (fractions of the former Ramosch municipality), Tschlin , Strada and Martina (fractions of the former Tschlin municipality).

Flora and fauna

Botanically the Engadine is remarkably rich, especially the cryptogam flora . On the northward sloping slopes of the Engadine, dense fir and pine forests extend up to an altitude of 1800 m, while on the south-facing slopes, due to the drought, larch forests can be found that even reach up to 2100 m.

Red deer and roe deer live in the vast forests of the Engadine, while chamois and ibex live in the mountainous regions . Golden eagles and bearded vultures live in the rocky side valleys . Deer, roe deer and chamois are hunted every year for three weeks in September. The ibex are regulated in a special hunt.

The Engadine is also rich in usable minerals ( calamine , galena , lead ores containing silver, copper pebbles, etc.); The mineral springs of St. Moritz in the Upper Engadine and Scuol-Tarasp in the Lower Engadine are more economically important .


Early history and the Roman Empire

Since around 2000 BC Settled farmers lived on hilltops and hillside terraces, such as Ramosch-Mottata is one. The St. Moritz spring version is also dated from the Middle Bronze Age. The finds in Ardez-Suotchastè and Scuol-Munt Baselgia speak for a more intensive settlement in the late Bronze Age (1200–800 BC) . The Laugen-Melaun culture was established in the 6th century BC. Replaced by the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture . The Breno culture is documented for the region from Zernez to St. Moritz .

15 BC The Engadine was incorporated into the Roman Empire as part of the province of Raetia because Rome needed the passports to Germania . Finds along the Roman roads testify to their importance, and Raetia benefited from the Roman expansion of the connecting roads into the early Middle Ages. After the end of the Roman Empire, the Engadine and Raetia became part of the Ostrogoth Empire, and in 536 it fell to the Franks. The temporal and spiritual dominion was from the 7th century in the hands of the noble house of Zacconen which also victorids were called.

Middle Ages and Reformation

In 806 the province was divided into upper and lower councils by Charlemagne , the Engadin became part of upper councils . In 916 the Upper Engadine fell to the Duchy of Swabia , the Lower Engadine to the County of Vinschgau . The two sections of the valley went their separate ways politically and constitutionally until 1652. The Upper Engadin had its own counts. Count Dedalrich sold his land to the diocese of Chur in 1139 , from which the Upper Engadines bought themselves free in 1494. In the Lower Engadin, the owners' frequently interfering rulership and feudal rights led to long feuds.

In the High Middle Ages, the Bishop of Chur was able to expand his influence in the Upper Engadin thanks to donations and privileges. In 1137 and 1139 he bought the goods of the Counts of Gamertingen between Punt Ota and St. Moritz and thus became the most powerful ruler of the region. In 1367 the Upper Engadin joined the Church of God , but a certain amount of self-administration was still possible. The political beneficiaries were the episcopal ministers from the Planta family , whose rise began after 1250. The Salis family from Samedan also played an important role. In the Middle Ages, the Upper Engadine valley community Ob Pontalt (Rhaetorom. Sur Punt Ota ) shared the region's pastures, forests and waters. Individual settlements joined together to form neighborhoods, such as the Chantuns Sils and Fex in 1477. From 1526 episcopal rights were bought out, and common property was divided up from 1538 to 1543. The high court of the now territorially closed political municipality was summarized in Zuoz and from 1438 on in the courts in Funtauna Merla . From 1534, the Landammann Johann Travers from Zuoz had biblical plays with spiritual content performed for the first time in Romansh, which had a great impact on the population. From 1550 to 1577 the Upper Engadin adopted the Reformed Confession. From 1552 to 1562 the two reformers Jachiam Tütschett Bifrun and Ulrich Campell created the Rhaeto-Romanic written language with Bible translations. Several printing works named Saluz, Dorta, Gadina and Janett then stimulated a lively intellectual life.

In 1140 the Lower Engadine came to the Counts of Tyrol as a fief . In 1160 and 1177 the nobles of Tarasp gave their castle together with the estates in Guarda, Scuol and Ftan to the Bishop of Chur. Through the acquisition of several lords of the castle such as Ardez-Steinberg, he acquired a dominant position of power in the region. The acquisition of state sovereignty failed due to the Habsburgs and from 1363 to the Count of Tyrol . In 1367 the Lower Engadine joined the Church of God. In 1464 the Habsburgs bought the rule of Tarasp, and in 1475 their feudal claims sparked the hen war . The attempt to integrate the Lower Engadine and the neighboring Münstertal into the Nauders judicial bailiwick triggered the Swabian War in 1499 . All villages were plundered and devastated by imperial mercenaries. The Graubünden victory on the Calven in 1499 put an end to the Habsburg-Tyrolean expansion. The legacy of 1500 fixed the old situation: The Lower Engadine remained under Habsburg sovereignty and was at the same time a member of the Association of Churches. In the 16th century it was quiet in the Lower Engadine as part of the Drei Bünde, apart from the criminal court of 1565, the Bacon War against the pensioners of France. From 1529 to 1553 the Lower Engadine (without the Austrian Tarasp) converted to the new Reformed faith. In the Graubünden turmoil , in the struggle for the Valtellina and the Bündner passes, in which the Habsburgs sought a connection between their territories, they also tried to increase their influence in the Lower Engadine and Prättigau . In 1621, Alois Baldiron attacked the Lower Engadine and occupied it until 1629. The attempts at recatholization by the Capuchins failed because the congregations immediately returned to the Reformed Confession. Only Samnaun, which from the 19th century onwards as a German-speaking valley community also went its own way in terms of language, remained Catholic. In 1652 the Austrian rights were bought out.

Modern times

From 1798–1800 the Engadin was the scene of fighting between the French and Austrians. One of the last Austrian possessions was the Catholic Tarasp , which came back to Graubünden in 1815 through the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of 1803. Since 1851 the Engadin has been divided into the districts of Inn and Maloja with the districts of Upper Engadin, Obtasna, Untertasna and Ramosch.

In economic terms, mountain agriculture has always been oriented towards Northern Italy and Tyrol . The export of large cattle, small cattle, other agricultural products, wood and ore financed the imports such as grain, wine and salt. The salt pans of Hall and the ore works in S-charl used up many forests in the Lower Engadine. In modern times, the temporary emigrants, the randulins , who enjoyed lucrative privileges as Engadin confectioners in Venice from 1603 to 1766 , contributed significantly to the growing prosperity. After Venice terminated the contract, many Engadines emigrated to other Italian cities and other European centers.

In 1820–1840 the Obere Strasse was built over the Julier Pass and the Malojapass , the Talstrasse was built in 1845–1872 and the Samnauner Strasse was laid out in 1907–1912 . The opening of the Gotthard tunnel in 1882 caused the transit traffic with stagecoaches and the associated income from the mule-line crossing the Graubünden passes to collapse. This gap was gradually compensated by the emergence of drinking, spa treatment and alpine tourism after 1850.

1903–1913 the Albula Railway of the Rhaetian Railway was built as a connection to the Upper Engadin and further stimulated tourism. The First World War quickly ended the golden age of grand hotels. The economic crisis after 1929 destroyed many tourist jobs. From 1925 the road network for automobiles was expanded, and in 1938 the airfield in Samedan was initially built as a military airfield. In 1914 the Swiss National Park was founded in the Lower Engadine. The development with cable cars and ski lifts caused winter tourism to increase sharply from 1945, and the Winter Olympics in St. Moritz in 1928 and 1948 attracted worldwide publicity. The first expansion phase of hydropower was completed in 1932 without affecting the lakes in the Upper Engadine. From 1954 further projects of the Engadin power plants were realized, the Punt dal Gall and Livigno dams were the largest structures. There is a noticeable difference in prosperity between the Upper Engadine tourist region and the agriculturally dominated Lower Engadine. The Lower Engadine is expecting a boost in development from the winter-safe Vereina Tunnel , which opened in 1999 . The existing road crossings of the Flüela and Albula passes are closed during the winter months ; only the Julier Pass can be used all year round, except in snowy winters.


In addition to the rich Romansh literature, the Engadin theater history is particularly significant in terms of cultural history . The Engadine house is an architectural specialty of the Engadine .

Museums in the Engadine:



The main language in the Lower Engadine and parts of the Upper Engadine is Graubünden Romance . Putér is spoken in the Upper Engadin and Vallader in the Lower Engadin , two Rhaeto-Romanic idioms, each with their own written language, which the Engadins collectively call Rumantsch Ladin . However, the Ladin of the Engadine should not be confused with the Ladin languages in northeastern Italy.

Due to the strong growth in tourism in the last century , the better development and the resulting larger economic area, the Engadin recorded a strong immigration of people who no longer speak the Rhaeto-Romanic language. Therefore, in addition to Romansh , Swiss German and Italian are also spoken. In the main towns of the Upper Engadine, Romansh was largely displaced (cf. St. Moritz and region). In 2000, only 13% of the local population described Romansh as their main language and 30% as their everyday language. In the Lower Engadine, the displacement of Romansh is less pronounced, but a similar tendency can also be seen in this region. The Vallader still has a more closed territory in the Lower Engadine, in 2000 it was 63% main language and 79% everyday language.

Linguistically and culturally, the Engadine is often identified with the Gruss Allegra, which is only found in this region !

To this day, the villages know the tradition of nicknames and mock names for the respective settlement .


Thanks to tourism , which has been growing strongly for over a hundred years , the Engadin has seen a high level of immigration. The brisk construction activity changed the settlement structure and led to urban centers near St. Moritz with its 5600 inhabitants. St. Moritz, in the middle of the Upper Engadine lake landscape at 1,856 meters above sea level, had a European reputation for its medicinal springs as early as the 19th century. The first Kurhaus was opened in 1831. Since then, a partly sophisticated hotel business followed, and later also apartment building. St. Moritz has become one of the most famous holiday resorts in the world. On August 9, 1907, the first funicular railway, the Muottas Muragl Railway, was opened.


In 1932, the movie was adventure in the Engadine by Harald Reinl , which essentially consists of sports and chase scenes against the backdrop of snow-covered landscape.

See also


Web links

Commons : Engadin  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Engadin  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Rhaetian name book , founded by Robert von Planta. Volume 2: Etymologies, edited and edited. by Andrea Schorta . Francke, Bern 1964, p. 680 f .; then Dicziunari Rumantsch Grischun , Volume V, Column 621 (note on the article Engiadina ) and Hans Lieb: Eniates. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  2. Constant Wieser: Travers, Johann. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  3. ^ Ottavio Clavuot: Bifrun, Jachiam. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  4. ^ Conradin Bonorand: Campell, Ulrich [ Duri Champell]. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  5. ^ Ottavio Clavuot: Engadin. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  6. ^ Ottavio Clavuot: Engadin. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  7. ^ German sound film ( Memento from December 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive )

Coordinates: 46 ° 36 '4.8 "  N , 9 ° 57' 57.5"  E ; CH1903:  seven hundred ninety-three thousand six hundred and fifteen  /  164238