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Coat of arms of Pontresina
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : canton of Grisonscanton of Grisons Graubünden (GR)
Region : Maloja
BFS no. : 3784i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 7504
Coordinates : 788 951  /  151706 coordinates: 46 ° 29 '24 "  N , 9 ° 54' 0"  O ; CH1903:  788951  /  151706
Height : 1805  m above sea level M.
Height range : 1728–4048 m above sea level M.
Area : 118.18  km²
Residents: 2162 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 18 inhabitants per km²
Website: www.gemeinde-pontresina.ch
Pontresina village.jpg

Location of the municipality
Albignasee Lej da Champfèr Lago Bianco Lago di Lei Lago di Gera Lago di Livigno Lago di S. Giacomo-di Fraéle Lago di Poschiavo Lago di Monte Spluga Lai da Marmorera Silsersee Silvaplanersee St. Moritzersee Stazersee Sufnersee Italien Region Albula Region Bernina Region Viamala Region Engiadina Bassa/Val Müstair Region Plessur Region Prättigau/Davos Bever GR Bever GR Bregaglia Celerina/Schlarigna Madulain Madulain Pontresina La Punt-Chamues-ch Samedan Samedan S-chanf Sils im Engadin/Segl Silvaplana St. Moritz Zuoz ZuozMap of Pontresina
About this picture

Pontresina (German / Italian; Rumauntsch Puter Puntraschigna ? / I ) is a municipality in the Maloja region of the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland . The municipality is located in the northern valley of the Bernina Pass in Val Bernina , a side valley of the Engadine . Audio file / audio sample


The interpretation of the first documentary mentions pontem sarasinam (1137) and Ponte Sarracino (1303) is controversial, some historians translate it as “Saracen Bridge” and see a connection between the naming and the invasion of Switzerland by the Arabs in the 10th century. According to another explanation, the name is derived from a bridge that was named «Ponte sarasinae» after its builder Sarashin.

coat of arms

Blazon : split of black and gold (yellow), covered by a silver (white) arched bridge

Adjusted coat of arms from 1934 with reference to the municipality name ( talking coat of arms ). The bridge represents the Punt Ota .


Historical aerial photo from 300 m by Walter Mittelholzer from 1919

Pontresina is the only village in the highest side valley of the Engadine. It is surrounded by mountain peaks that are over 4000 m high. This location has been a magnet for mountaineers since the 19th century. The Piz Bernina massif is particularly impressive . Other well-known mountains are Las Sours (Two Sisters), Piz Alv and Piz Languard .

The two Pontresin ski areas Diavolezza ( 2978  m ) and Lagalb ( 2893  m ) are located on the Bernina Pass . A chairlift leads from the village center to Alp Languard ( 2330  m ). A little outside of Pontresina, halfway to Samedan, is the valley station of the funicular to Muottas Muragl ( 2,456  m ) in Punt Muragl .


Population development
year 1850 1900 1950 1980 1990 2000 2005 2010 2012 2014 2016
Residents 270 488 774 1726 1604 2191 1911 1994 2080 2161 2197


Originally, the residents used Puter , a Rhaeto-Romanic idiom, for communication. But with the rise of tourism, the language was quickly pushed back. As early as 1880, only 45.7% of the population stated Romansh as their mother tongue. The continuous decline in Romansh continues to this day (last value from 2000: 7.94%). The only official language of the authorities today is German. Nevertheless, the official language of instruction at primary school was only Romansh until a few years ago; Today, from kindergarten (scouletta) up to grade 9, teaching is bilingual in Romansh and German. The following table shows the development over the past decades:

Languages ​​in Pontresina (GR)
languages 1880 1900 1941 1970 1980 census 1990 census 2000 census
proportion of number proportion of proportion of proportion of number proportion of number proportion of number proportion of
German 252 51.64% 990 57.36% 993 61.91% 1264 57.69%
Romansh 45.7% 164 33.61% 26.7% 16.22% 250 14.48% 194 12.09% 174 7.94%
Italian 362 20.97% 290 18.08% 353 16.11%
Portuguese 198 9.04%
Other languages 72 14.75% 124 7.18% 127 7.92% 202 9.22%
Residents 488 100.00% 1726 100.00% 1604 100.00% 2191 100.00%

What is remarkable is the proportion of Italian speakers, which has been above Romansh for decades. The third most common language in 2000 was Portuguese, accounting for 9.04% of the total population due to hotel workers. In 1990, 32.4% were still able to communicate in Romansh; in 2000 it was 25.3%. The community is thus effectively trilingual.

Religions and denominations

The Reformation was introduced in 1549. Today the village is equally Protestant - Reformed and Roman Catholic . The Reformed parish is part of the Evangelical Reformed Regional Church of Graubünden , the Roman Catholic part of the Diocese of Chur .

Origin and nationality

Of the 1911 residents at the end of 2005, 1,377 (= 72%) were Swiss citizens.


View of Pontresina around 1880
Spaniola Tower
Church of Sta. Maria

Pontresina owes its importance to its location on the Bernina Pass and to tourism. In the Middle Ages the place was more important than the neighboring St. Moritz . However, only a few buildings remind of this time, as Pontresina was ravaged by a large fire at the beginning of the 18th century. After the first inn was opened in 1850, tourism began to flourish. The mountain guide association was founded in 1871. In the summer of 1885 there were already 2000 guests.

The town received a further boost in 1908 with the opening of the Bernina Railway , which later merged with the Rhaetian Railway . Until 2011, the locomotive change for the Bernina Express took place at the system separation point in Pontresina . Today dual-current multiple units are used.

During the two world wars of the Bernina Pass against attackers from the was Puschlav in Berninahäuser Sperrstelle attached.



Also worth seeing are the Sta. Mary from the 12th and 13th centuries, which is decorated with numerous frescoes inside , and the baroque village church of San Niculò . An Anglican church, the Holy Trinity Church , stood in the center of the village until 1975 .


Cross-country skiing

Pontresina has had a great tradition in Nordic skiing for years. Cross-country and biathlon world cups , continental cups , FIS races , Swiss championships, junior world championships and many regional and junior races were held there. One of the most spectacular events was the night sprints through the town center on the artificial snow-covered Dorfstrasse with top-class participation from World Cup athletes. Since 2008, Pontresina has also been the destination of the newly introduced half marathon as part of the Engadin Skimarathon . From the 2016/17 season , the prologue of the cross-country skiing racing series Ski Classics will also be held in Pontresina .

Alpine skiing

With a men's downhill run , the last Alpine Ski World Cup race took place in Pontresina on December 5, 1982, at the start of the 1982/83 World Cup season . At that time the Austrian Harti Weirather won ahead of his compatriot Franz Klammer and the Swiss Peter Müller . As the second-best Swiss, Conradin Cathomen from Graubünden came fourth. The fifth and sixth place went to Helmut Höflehner and Ken Read . In 2003, Pontresina was the last venue for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships St. Moritz-Pontresina .

Ski jumping

In 1907, the construction of the Bernina ski jump began in the Engadine and was officially inaugurated as a 40 m ski jump in winter 1912. In the twenties, it was decided to build a new, larger ski jump on the left side of the Roseg Valley , which should allow widths of up to 80 m. In 1925, the Bernina Pontresina Ski Club opened this facility with an international competition. In the years that followed, there were many large jumping competitions, with up to four competitions being held in some winters. During this time, Pontresina's international ski jumping was one of the leading sporting events in Europe. In 1928, the Swiss Bruno Trojani was the first jumper in the world to jump over 70 m. Another world record was set by Adolf Badrutt in 1930 with 75 m. In 1948 the last competition took place on the Berninaschanze. After the Second World War, both ski jumps fell into disrepair.

Other sports

In  winter, a toboggan run leads from Muottas Muragl into the valley.

Around Pontresina there are numerous opportunities to explore the mountains on a hike on simple and demanding tours.

Pontresina was the starting point in 2012/13 and has been the transit point of the Swiss Irontrail since then .




  • Ottavio Clavuot: Pontresina. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . 2010 .
  • Erwin Poeschel : The art monuments of the canton of Graubünden III. The valley communities Räzünser Boden, Domleschg, Heinzenberg, Oberhalbstein, Upper and Lower Engadine. (= Art Monuments of Switzerland. Volume 11). Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 1940. DNB 760079625 .

Web links

Commons : Pontresina  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. admin.ch . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .
  2. a b Archived copy ( memento of the original from October 7, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.pontresina.ch
  3. ^ Ottavio Clavuot: Pontresina. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . 2010 .
  4. http://www.pontresina-reformiert.ch
  5. Chesa Campell
  6. Reconstruction and expansion of Chamanna da Tschierva
  7. ^ Ferdinand Sauerbruch , Hans Rudolf Berndorff : That was my life. Kindler & Schiermeyer, Bad Wörishofen 1951; cited: Licensed edition for Bertelsmann Lesering, Gütersloh 1956, pp. 203-207.
  8. Otto Kober. In: Sikart , accessed February 2, 2016.