Period IV

Zillis. Photo/Foto: TES.

One Park, Three Dialects

The cultural landscape in the Beverin Natural Park varies due to the immigration of the Walser in the 13th and 14th centuries and the ancient presence of Romansh people. The influence of the Walser culture is still strong in the Safiental and some neighbouring villages, not only concerning the language but also by the settlement structure and forms of agriculture. In Sufers, Tschappina and Safiental is the Walser dialect relatively well preserved. Romansh (Sutsilvan) is still spoken on the Schamserberg region, among others in the villages Andeer, Lohn, Pignia and Zillis, although only by half of the population, the other half and in other municipalities speak Swiss German (Bündnerdialect) or the Walser dialect. Today about 1000 inhabitants of this region still speak Sutsilvan, until the nineteenth century the common language. However, the 19th and 20th centuries brought great changes (tourism, media, railways, mobility, immigration), which had a negative influence on the Romansh language and culture. However, the Romans and Walser populations and languages still exist and may even rejoice in a growing interest (Source and further information: www.naturpark-beverin.ch).