In the middle of the 19th century, the writer and politician Heinrich Zschokke said that it’s “a Switzerland within Switzerland”. The canton of Graubünden has Switzerland's biggest surface and yet, because of so many mountains, holds the smallest density of inhabitants. The heraldic animal is the ibex and you find it everywhere, on each flag, shop window, paper bag! These mountains inspired Johanna Spyri’s bestseller Heidi who lived here.
This is also the only canton where three languages are currently spoken: Romanch, German and Italian. Its cultural, political and economic aspects are multiple. The ancient language Romanch and its culture are an essential part of local life style. Graubünden is blessed with natural beauties. Highlights are the Rhine gorges, the Via Mala valley and the lakes of the upper Engadin. The biggest Museums are in the capital Chur. In Davos you find the famous Kirchner painting museum and in Sils Maria the Nietzsche house. The jet set meeting place is Saint Moritz! Wellness and relaxation is offered in Scuol. And of course wherever you go you can practice winter sports of all kinds such as skiing. The downhill ski trails of Corviglia, Corvatsch, Diavolezza and Lagalb are among the best in the world.
Chur is Switzerland’s oldest town – and the least known. Swiss play writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt called it “stony and gray”, the writer Thomas Bernhard pretended it was “cold and gloomy”. The city surrounded by mountains is a major road and railway junction and hosts a bishop’s palace. A visit of the 800 years old cathedral is especially worthwhile and the old town has many picturesque corners. The three biggest museums are the Artmuseum, the Rätisch museum (on ancient Romanch culture) and the Nature museum. And in Chur you get the widest choice of culinary experiences: surprising wines, special mineral waters and regional food specialties.
The Bernina-Express is world famous and on the UNESCO world heritage list. The railway construction with its vertiginous viaducts is a famous masterpiece on the Albulatrail from Chur to St-Moritz and Tirano. You can also take the Glacier Express carrying you over to the Wallis and the Matterhorn (Cervin).