Local History

Ramosch. Foto/Photo: TES.

Ramosch and a Dutch Conductor

The village of Ramosch and its nearby hamlets of Vnà, Seraplana, Griosch and Raschvella in Lower Engadin (Unterengadin, canton of Graubünden) lies amidst centuries-old terraces for arable farming (see also under nature). The area has been inhabited since 4 500 BC. The dry climate with the least rainfall in Switzerland and the fertile soil made arable farming possible. The terraces are now national cultural heritage. They were constructed from 2 200 B.C. onwards.

Ramosch is also situated on the old transit route to Tyrol and Lake Constance (Lake Constance) and the left bank of the river Inn. The Tschanüff Castle (new house in Romansh) shows the strategic relevance of the place. Count Meinhard of Tyrol (1238-1295) permitted Lord of Ramosch in 1256 to build the castle. In 1475 the castle was destroyed by troops from Tyrol in the so-called Hennenkrieg. The castle was rebuilt to be destroyed again during the Bündner Wirren (1618-1639). In 1780 the castle was abandoned, resulting in the present ruin.

The Romanesque predecessor of St. Florian’s Church was destroyed in the Schwabenkrieg in 1499 and rebuilt shortly afterwards by Bernhard von Puschlav, who was active in the region (among others in Scuol and Tschlin). Ramosch bought itself free from the Habsburg house in 1652, having already adopted the Protestant faith. A fire in 1880 destroyed most of the village. Italian craftsmen and architects mainly carried out the reconstruction. The Italian style is a reminder. The villages of Vnà, Seraplana, Griosch and Raschvella show many beautiful Engadine farmhouses, however.

The villa Mengelberg and the chapel from 1920 are reminders of the stay of the Dutch conductor Willem Mengelberg (1871-1951).  He built the chapel on his estate out of gratitude for the neutrality of Switzerland and the Netherlands during the First World War.