Davos originally enjoyed its prominence thanks to its rejuvenating climate, which has been renowned for around 150 years. As early as 1860 the first Davos guest house was opened to welcome spa guests. The German physician who immigrated here, Alexander Spengler, opened a recuperation spa for lung illnesses, which primarily comprised extensive sleep on the sun terraces of Davos, along with Veltliner wine. This treatment made Davos world renowned, and in 1924 the novel "The Magic Mountain" by Thomas Mann made the location immortal in a literary sense too. Alongside Mann, numerous other writers, artists and philosophers also travelled to Davos. They brought their own culture with them, made the spa town famous in their works, or were responsible for initiating the sports, event and cultural facilities that exist today.
Davos was at the forefront of the development of modern winter sports. The history of the world renowned Davos sledge started in the 19th century. The sledge received its name at the first historic sledge race in 1883, in Davos. In 1921 in Davos, the Hockey Club Davos was established and today it is akin to myth and living legend. 1923 witnessed the first Spengler Cup, the oldest and most famous international ice-hockey tournament in the world. The Parsenn Derby is the most traditional ski race in Switzerland and took place for the first time in 1924. Ten years later, the first t-bar ski lift in the world was put into operation on the Bolgen. In more modern times, Davos created headlines when it established the freestyle scene in the 1980s. At that time, the Jakobshorn was the only mountain on which snowboarders were permitted to use the lifts.
The most important fact first: "The Magic Mountain" is the title of a novel and masterpiece by Thomas Mann. Thomas Mann gained inspiration for his tale during his own stay in Davos. His wife Katia was ill with catarrh on the apex of the lungs, and travelled to a recuperation spa at the woodland sanitorium in Davos. This afforded Thomas Mann extensive first-hand information on life in the sanitorium. As a result of his impressions and armed with the letters that his wife wrote to him from the sanitorium, he embarked on writing his novel, which he worked on between 1913 and 1915, before finishing in 1924 after a break lasting a number of years.
Hans Castorp, the main character in Thomas Mann's novel "The Magic Mountain", visits his cousin, who is recuperating in a Davos sanitorium with the aid of the mountain air. Castorp - fascinated by life in the sanitorium - defines the image of the sanitorium guests anew. For Castorp, life in the sanitorium becomes the mass of all things...the "magic mountain". Five years after the novel was published, Thomas Mann received the Nobel Prize for Literature in Sweden, rendering his entire works immortal.
In 2001, Davos became the first district in the canton of Grisons to be officially awarded the coveted "Energiestadt [energy town] label” by the Federal Department for Energy and the awarding body. As an energy town, Davos promises to operate a sustainable and results-orientated energy policy. The energy town is currently introducing measures to improve its CO2 balance and reinforce climate protection.
|6 Divisions||Davos Platz, Davos Dorf, Frauenkirch, Glaris, Monstein, Wiesen|
|Inhabitants||ca. 13,000 (2010)|
|Altitude||1,560 m asl|
|Highest point||3,146 m asl, 10,300 feet - Flüela-Schwarzhorn|
|Lowest point||1,080 m asl, 3,544 feet - Landwasser|
|Total area||284 km2, 110 square miles|
|Lake Davos||3’770 m, 12,300 feet of shoreline|
|Temperatures||winter: 0°C day / -10°C night; summer: 20°C day / 5°C night|
|Number of guest beds||Commercially rented out: 14‘313 beds (6‘330 beds in Hotels and Pensions, 1’983 beds in Group accommodations, 6‘000 beds in apartments) plus 13‘300 beds in holiday apartments for personal use and 507 beds in clinics. Total: 28‘120 beds|
|Total overnight stays||2,103,146 (Total year 12/13)|
|Commercial overnights||1,226,284 May 12 - April 13 hotels, groups, holiday apartments (excl. clinics)|