Take the bus for the 10-minute trip to Glaris Mühle. Just across the road is a paved road heading to Spina. From Glaris, a brisk hike soon leads to the small Walser settlement of Spina in under 20 minutes. From the southern end of the hamlet, a level path leads through the Rotschwald forest to Monstein.
Points of interest:
Glaris (1,457 m.a.s.l) is a typical Walser village in which the farmhouses are spaced far apart from each other. Be sure to plan in a visit to the church of St. Nikolaus built in 1350, which was constructed shortly after the Walser people first settled here. During the last renovation in 1998, the outline of a saint appeared on the eastern outside wall, which is thought to have been St. Christopher, the saint of hikers and travellers.
From this sunny spot there is a fabulous view over the surrounding landscape. The typical original styles of Walser houses have been changed repeatedly over the centuries, for obvious reasons, and have been adapted to today's housing needs. One of the most recently renovated houses in Spina is the «Obere Huus» (Upper House) built in 1533 by Tomas Wolf at the very end of the road.
Entering the village of Monstein, immediately on the left-hand side there is a small timber Walser-style house, which over the centuries has never been extended.
There are also a number of really interesting buildings in the centre of the village close to the old church, which dates back to 1669. Of particular note here are the two timber houses below the church, especially the «Gretahuus» to the left of the brewery, a log cabin. Although it was built in the 16th century, the former construction methods practised in the Walser region can still be seen today, including the moss pressed between the beams for insulation. On the eastern side of the house, above the living room, is an opening locked by a shutter. It is one of the very few «soul beams» still visible in Davos today. This is the room where the dead were laid out.
A number of other well-preserved Walser-style houses on a stone base can be seen on the walk towards the Veltlinerstübli restaurant.
The «Veltlinerstübli» is the most impressive example of a Walser house in Monstein that has been extended upwards.
If you are starting to get a little peckish, be sure to stop off at the Ducan Hotel and Restaurant. The head chef and his staff will be only too happy to serve dishes made with the freshest regional products in the Arvenstübli room, for example home-made Cordon Bleu Ducan, filled with Monstein brewer's cheese. Naturally they also serve the extremely popular Älpligrill specialities.
Interesting facts and figures:
-Unlike Engadine houses, where the house and stable were under the same roof, Walser houses are separate from the stable, although generally the stable can be reached through a covered access.
-You will be able to recognise other Walser houses in Clavadel, in the Sertig Valley and in the Dischma Valley.