Neighborhood (Graubünden)

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As a neighborhood ( Romansh vischnaunca, vschinauncha , Italian vicinia ) were referred to the State of the Three Leagues village cooperatives, as subdivisions of the court communities served. The division into neighborhoods coincides or coincides in many cases with the later political communities .

Neighborhoods (ital. Vicinie ) also existed in the Middle Ages in the area of ​​today's canton of Ticino , where they also formed the core cell of the later political communities.


In the three leagues - and later until the canton was redistributed in 1851/1854 - the judicial communities formed the actual political communities, the sovereign members of the league, which was concluded in 1524. Within the judicial communities, the individual villages formed the neighborhoods. They decided on the use of communal property (forests and Alps), and in many cases there was also a separate civil court. Since the late Middle Ages , when many villages built their own churches, the neighborhoods largely corresponded to the parishes .

The farmers with full rights in the village community were referred to as neighbors in the Middle Ages (Romansh vischins or vaschins , Italian vicini ). The neighbors or community citizens were on the one hand entitled to use the community property, on the other hand obliged to the community. This involves work in the service of the community (e.g. maintenance of roads). Village ordinances or community letters contained regulations regarding neighbor law. The neighborhood assembly regulated the use of the common land as early as the Middle Ages . Nevertheless, there were always disputes, as evidenced by various arbitration protocols. The so-called wintering rule was introduced for livestock farming in high pastures. Each farmer was allowed many cattle summer grazing , as he brought through the winter. The amount of hay available to the farmer limited the number of cows. Those who owned a lot of land could keep or feed a lot of cows and were therefore very wealthy. Not all villagers were full neighbors or parishioners. Sitting down or sitting behind had no rights.

The reallocation of 1851 created, among other things, the circles that largely corresponded to the former judicial communities. The neighborhoods became the (today's) political communities. For example, the Schanfigg court consisted of the neighborhoods of St. Peter , Peist , Molinis , Pagig , Castiel , Lüen , Calfreisen and Maladers , which from 1851 were largely independent political communities and part of the Schanfigg district .

In individual cases, the courts were not or only incompletely divided, so that today the district and the municipality are practically the same. The judicial community of Davos, for example, consisted of the neighborhoods Platz, Dorf, Frauenkirch, Glaris, Monstein and Arosa before 1851 . Only Arosa , located in neighboring Schanfigg , separated from the Davos landscape by the Strela chain , split off in 1851 as part of the reorganization of the Graubünden counties and districts and, together with the previously independent Langwies court (without Praden ) and the Schanfigg court, formed the newly created district Schanfigg. The remaining five former Davos neighborhoods represented the parliamentary communities of the Davos - Monstein region until the end of 2018 . In today's Davos parlance, the term neighborhood is used for a settlement that was part of such a parliamentary group.

In most of the Romansh-speaking area, Vischnaunca ( sursilvan ) or Vschinauncha ( putér ) has been preserved as the official name of the political community.


  • Friedrich Pieth: Bündnergeschichte. 2nd edition, F. Schuler, Chur 1982, ISBN 3-85894-002-X .
  • Florian Hitz: The history of the Grisons neighborhoods. In: Credit Suisse Bulletin. 1/2010.
  • Hans Danuser , Ruedi Homberger: Arosa and the Schanfigg. Self-published by Danuser / Homberger, Arosa 1988.
  • Fritz Maron: Arosa - Relations between Arosa and Davos. Arosa 1951.
  • Swiss Idioticon . Volume IV, column 1521, article review (Bed. 5) .