Pontresina

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Pontresina
Pontresina -
Country Switzerland Coat of Arms of Pontresina
Canton Graubünden
District Maloja
46°30′N 9°54′E / 46.500°N 9.900°E / 46.500; 9.900Coordinates: 46°30′N 9°54′E / 46.500°N 9.900°E / 46.500; 9.900
Population 2,115 (Dec 2013)[1]
- Density 18 /km2 (46 /sq mi)
Area 118.19 km2 (45.63 sq mi)[2]
Elevation 1,805 m (5,922 ft)
Postal code 7504
SFOS number 3784
Surrounded by Lanzada (IT-SO), La Punt-Chamues-ch, Livigno (IT-SO), Madulain, Poschiavo, Samedan, Zuoz
Website www.gemeinde-pontresina.ch
SFSO statistics
Pontresina is located in Switzerland
Pontresina
Pontresina

Pontresina (Romansh: Puntraschigna) is a municipality in the district of Maloja in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.

History and name[edit]

The city was first mentioned in medieval Latin documents as pontem sarasinam in 1137. In 1237 it was mentioned as de Ponte Sarraceno and in 1303 as ponte sarracino.[3] Some historians translate it as The Bridge of the Saracens and see in it a reference to a tenth-century Arab invasion of the lands that later became Switzerland. It is essential though to have a bridge to use the Bernina pass and it would make sense to build this before the confluence of Ova da Bernina and Ova da Roseg due to the amount of water to cross.

Geography[edit]

Pontresina valley

Pontresina has an area, as of 2006, of 118.2 km2 (45.6 sq mi). Of this area, 16.7% is used for agricultural purposes, while 8.8% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 1.6% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (72.9%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).[4]

The municipality is located in the Oberengadin sub-district of the Maloja district. It sits in Val Bernina, which is the highest altitude valley that branches off the Upper Engadin Valley. The municipality includes the highest mountain of the canton, Piz Bernina. Other high summits are Piz Zupò and Piz Palü. Pontresina is a noted tourist destination in its own right, but is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor St. Moritz.

It consists of the old village sections of Laret, San Spiert as well as Giarsun and the new sections on the mountain slopes (including Muragls).

Nearby glaciers include the Morteratsch Glacier and the Roseg Glacier. The Morteratsch has a ski lift and a long run down the glacier. The Roseg Valley has a groomed cross country ski trail along its length.

Demographics[edit]

Pontresina has a population (as of 31 December 2013) of 2,115.[1] As of 2008, 29.7% of the population was made up of foreign nationals.[5] Over the last 10 years the population has grown at a rate of 3.9%.[4]

As of 2000, the gender distribution of the population was 50.2% male and 49.8% female.[6] The age distribution, as of 2000, in Pontresina is; 165 children or 7.5% of the population are between 0 to 9 years old. 95 teenagers or 4.3% are 10 to 14, and 136 teenagers or 6.2% are 15 to 19. Of the adult population, 438 people or 20.0% of the population are between 20 to 29 years old. 435 people or 19.9% are 30 to 39, 354 people or 16.2% are 40 to 49, and 269 people or 12.3% are 50 to 59. The senior population distribution is 153 people or 7.0% of the population are between 60 to 69 years old, 97 people or 4.4% are 70 to 79, there are 45 people or 2.1% who are 80 to 89, and there are 4 people or 0.2% who are 90 to 99.[5]

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the FDP which received 35.2% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SVP (34.1%), the SP (17%) and the CVP (8.1%).[4]

In Pontresina about 62.6% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).[4]

Pontresina has an unemployment rate of 1.26%. As of 2005, there were 19 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 4 businesses involved in this sector. 323 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 22 businesses in this sector. 1,073 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 124 businesses in this sector.[4]

Reformed church of Niculò/Nikolaus, built in 1640, rebuilt in 1718, tower from 1887.

From the 2000 census, 1,055 or 48.2% are Roman Catholic, while 713 or 32.5% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there are 40 individuals (or about 1.83% of the population) who belong to the Orthodox Church, and there are 56 individuals (or about 2.56% of the population) who belong to another Christian church. There are less than 5 individuals who are Jewish, and 27 (or about 1.23% of the population) who are Islamic. There are 10 individuals (or about 0.46% of the population) who belong to another church (not listed on the census), 158 (or about 7.21% of the population) belong to no church, are agnostic or atheist, and 132 individuals (or about 6.02% of the population) did not answer the question.[5]

The historical population is given in the following table:[3][6]

year population
1850 270
1900 488
1950 774
1960 1,067
1970 1,646
1980 1,726
1990 1,604
2000 2,191

Languages[edit]

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (57.7%), with Italian being second most common (16.1%) and Portuguese being third ( 9.0%).[4] Until the 19th Century, the entire population spoke the Upper-Engadin Romansh dialect of Puter. Due to increasing trade with the outside world, Romansh usage began to decline. In 1880 only 45.7% spoke Romansh as a first language, while in 1900 it was only 33.61%. Romansh continued to decline in the 20th Century (1941 26.7%, 1970 16.22%, 2000 7.94%).

Languages in Pontresina GR
Languages Census 1980 Census 1990 Census 2000
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
German 990 57.36% 993 61.91% 1264 57.69%
Romansh 250 14.48% 194 12.09% 174 7.94%
Italian 362 20.97% 290 18.08% 353 16.11%
Population 1726 100% 1604 100% 2191 100%

Transportation[edit]

Train of the Rhaetian Railway in Pontresina

Pontresina railway station is a fair sized facility positioned to the west of the town which serves a wide area and a youth hostel. Several bus lines of the Engadin Bus company also serve the area and there is a chair lift for skiing in the winter months, and walking in the summer months. The area has road links to the neighbouring, larger town of St Moritz.

Weather[edit]

Pontresina has an average of 97.8 days of rain per year and on average receives 799 mm (31.5 in) of precipitation. The wettest month is August during which time Pontresina receives an average of 104 mm (4.1 in) of precipitation. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 10.7 days. The driest month of the year is February with an average of 31 mm (1.2 in) of precipitation over 10.7 days.[7]

Heritage sites of national significance[edit]

The Church of S. Maria, Grand Hotel Kronenhof and the Spaniola tower are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance.[8] The old parish church and currently a village church of S. Maria is a late-Romanesque structure. The church has several significant paintings on the walls. The tower and north and west walls are from an earlier church, most likely from the 12th Century.

A historical transport route of wine across the alps passes Pontresina and continues towards Davos across Scaletta Pass that lost importance completely when roads were built elsewhere.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistics Office – STAT-TAB Ständige und Nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Region, Geschlecht, Nationalität und Alter (German) accessed 18 August 2014
  2. ^ Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
  3. ^ a b Pontresina in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 20-Oct-2009
  5. ^ a b c Graubunden Population Statistics (German) accessed 21 September 2009
  6. ^ a b Graubunden in Numbers (German) accessed 21 September 2009
  7. ^ "Temperature and Precipitation Average Values-Table, 1961-1990" (in German, French, Italian). Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology - MeteoSwiss. Retrieved 8 May 2009. , the weather station elevation is 1774 meters above sea level.
  8. ^ Swiss inventory of cultural property of national and regional significance 21.11.2008 version, (German) accessed 20-Oct-2009
  9. ^ (English) Hiking Switzerland passes in Graubünden on old international trading route
This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.

External links[edit]

Media related to Pontresina at Wikimedia Commons