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Unveiling the Charm of Davos: A Comprehensive Guide to the Enchanting Swiss Township

Nestled in the picturesque Landwassertal Valley within the enchanting Swiss canton of Graubünden, the township of Davos is a captivating blend of tradition and modernity. Known for its rich cultural tapestry and breathtaking landscapes, Davos has evolved from a quaint community to a globally renowned destination. Let’s embark on a journey through the heart of Davos, exploring its history, topography, and unique charms.

Discovering Davos: An Overview

Historical Evolution and Growth

Since the mid-19th century, Davos has transformed into an internationally acclaimed resort, earning the prestigious title of World Health Resort Davos. Initially recognized for its therapeutic air, the town later embraced winter sports, attracting a surge in population from 1680 residents in 1850 to over 11,000 by 1930.

The Splendors of Davos Landscape

Geography of Davos

The Davos landscape spans the majority of the Landwassertal Valley, extending over two kilometers beyond the watershed into Prättigau near Davos Wolfgang (1631 m). The valley’s axis, marked by the river, main road, and railway, runs from northeast to southwest. As it descends gently from Davosersee, it incorporates side valleys such as Flüela and Dischma, providing access to the Flüelapass and Scalettapass leading to Engadin.

Beyond the confluence of the Sertigtal, the valley narrows, dropping almost 300 meters over the remaining nine kilometers to the former municipal boundary at Brombänz Felsen. The lowermost section, known as Zügenschlucht, leads to the fraction of Wiesen, annexed to Davos since January 1, 2009. The right (northwest) flank exhibits a few short side valleys, with the municipal border coinciding with the watershed against the Plessur region.

Peaks and Valleys

The territory features prominent peaks such as Amselflue (2771 m), Tiejer Flue (2781 m), Mederger Flue (2674 m), and Chüpfenflue (2658 m), leading to the historically significant Strelapass. Beyond the pass, it extends to Weissfluhjoch (2693 m) via Schiahorn (2709 m). To the north, the municipal boundary traverses Casanna and Gotschnagrat.

The left side of the valley is dissected by three side valleys, forming protruding ridges. Notable mountains like Seehorn (2238 m), Büelenhorn (2512 m), Jakobshorn (2590 m), and Rinerhorn (2528 m) dominate the landscape when viewed from the valley. The highest elevations are found along the watershed against Engadin and the upper Albulatal, including Flüela Wisshorn (3085 m), Flüela Schwarzhorn (3147 m, the highest point in the municipality), Piz Grialetsch (3131 m), Chüealphorn (3078 m), and Hoch Ducan (3063 m).

Unraveling the Township: A Glimpse into Davos’ Divisions

Quaint Villages and Sought-After Regions

Davos comprises six villages, known as Ortsteile, which were autonomous until the end of 2018:

  1. Davos Dorf: Encompassing the Flüelatal, Wolfgang settlement, Passhöhe Wolfgang, and Laret hamlet beyond the pass.
  2. Davos Platz: Including the Dischmatals region.
  3. Davos Frauenkirch: Covering the Sertigtals area.
  4. Davos Glaris
  5. Davos Monstein: Since 2019, the sole public-law entity of the municipality.
  6. Davos Wiesen: Merged with Davos in 2009.

The villages of Frauenkirch, Glaris, and Monstein collectively form the lower section, while Platz and Dorf constitute the upper segment. The latter, being the two largest fractions, seamlessly merged into a four-kilometer-long settlement band during the 20th century.

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Dimensions of Davos: Understanding the Municipality

Davos, until early 2009, held the position of the second-largest municipality in Switzerland, covering an expansive 254.39 km². Agriculture utilized 37.1% of the land, with meadows and pastures, while forests covered 19.7%. Settlements occupied 2.2%, leaving 41% classified as unproductive.

With the incorporation of Wiesen in 2009, Davos briefly claimed the title of Switzerland’s largest municipality, surpassing Bagnes. However, this distinction was short-lived, as Glarus Süd, a newly formed municipality, overtook Davos in early 2011. Subsequent changes in municipal boundaries further shifted the rankings, ultimately placing Davos behind Scuol in 2015.

Davos shares its borders with Arosa, Bergün Filisur, Klosters, S-chanf, Schmitten, and Zernez.

Davos Climate: Embracing Nature’s Palette

In terms of climate, Davos experiences a humid, cold winter climate with cool summers (Dfc), as per the Köppen climate classification. The average annual temperature is 4.0°C, with January recording the coldest at -4.7°C and July the warmest at 12.8°C. Approximately 187 frost days and 53 days of ice can be expected on average. Despite the low number of heat days, Davos encountered a record temperature of 29.8°C on June 27, 2019, showcasing the climatic diversity of this alpine retreat.

As the MeteoSchweiz weather station sits at an elevation of 1594 m above sea level, Davos promises a refreshing escape with its invigorating climate.

In conclusion, Davos stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of tradition and modernity, offering visitors a unique blend of cultural richness and natural splendor. Whether you seek the thrill of winter sports or the tranquility of alpine landscapes, Davos welcomes you with open arms, inviting you to discover the allure of this Swiss gem.

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