Local History

Davos, Rathaus. Foto/Photo: TES.

The Walser, Davos and Holsboer

Before the arrival of the Walsers, the Davos area was inhabited by Romansh-speaking people. The German-speaking Walser settled in the 13th century from Obervaz, Lenz, Brienz and Alvaneu.

The area belonged to the barons of Vaz. The Walsers had the right to expand their living space. They founded other villages, for example, Arosa and Lenzerheide.

Davos took on a leading political role in the Walser area, which united in 1436 to form the Zehngerichtebund, the League of the ten (sovereign) jurisdictions.

This League was the most democratic of the Three Leagues (Gotteshausbund, Grauer Bund and Zehngerichtenbund). The principle applied that the minority had to obey the majority. Davos was its meeting place, and the head of the Zehngerichtebund was Davos’s mayor (Landammann).

The Town Hall has been the political centre for more than 700 years. Its importance came after the founding of the Zehngerichtebund.

The town hall also became the seat of the court. In 1559, the building, which dates back to the 13th century, burned down, but they rebuilt it a few years later. The town hall received its strict cubic form in 1930. The last renovation took place in 1977.

Tourism began when Alexander Spengler from Germany and the Dutchman Willem Holsboer founded the spa Spengler-Holsboer in 1868. Holsboer was also responsible for constructing the railway from Landquart to Davos in 1890. Hotels, sanatoriums and villas boomed. Summer- and winter sports came to Davos along with the spa guests.

Davos is also a conference and centre of scientific research nowadays and is home to internationally renowned research institutes.

(Source: www. gemeindedavos.ch).