Period III

Die Büvetta , 1876. Foto: www.pro-büvetta-tarasp.ch

Association pro Büvetta in Scuol-Tarasp

Bathing and drinking cures are among the oldest healing methods. The Romans were already enthusiastic bathers and built many therms in what is now Switzerland, for healing, pleasure and hygiene. Roman Aquae Helveticae (nowadays Baden, canton of Argovie) has the oldest resort in the country.  However, the area around Scuol-Tarasp (canton of Graubünden/Grisons) has the most and best sources of mineral water. Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, better known as Paracelsus (1493-1541), already mentioned these springs in 1533 and the physician Conrad Gessner (1516-1565) was among the scientific visitors.

The development of tourism began in 1841 with the construction of the Kurhaus. In 1864 the hotel was finished and ready for use and could accommodate 300 guests.Steam pumps lead the healing water directly to the baths of the Kurhaus. The (international) success of the Kurhaus prompted the plan to build a representative drinking hall, the Büvetta. In 1876, the architect Bernhard Simon (1816-1900) built an elongated hall with large arched windows and an octagonal roundabout with columns and a high marble plinth. This architecture bears witness to the splendour of the heyday of spa tourism in the Engadine with the more than 20 highly mineralised springs of Ftan, Tarasp, Scuol and Sent.

With the outbreak of the Second World War the guests stay away. After that, the world changed and the health resort went out of fashion and the decline was unstoppable. For years the Büvetta stood empty, but the Verein pro Büvetta looks to the future with the planned World Water Centre, exhibitions and new bathing culture. (Further information: www.pro-büvetta-tarasp.ch).