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Former municipality of Switzerland
Coat of arms of Alvaneu
Coat of arms
Alvaneu is located in Switzerland
Alvaneu is located in Canton of Graubünden
Coordinates: 46°41′N 9°39′E / 46.683°N 9.650°E / 46.683; 9.650Coordinates: 46°41′N 9°39′E / 46.683°N 9.650°E / 46.683; 9.650
Country Switzerland
Canton Graubünden
District Albula
 • Mayor Thomas Kollegger
 • Total 35.63 km2 (13.76 sq mi)
Elevation 1,181 m (3,875 ft)
Population (Dec 2013)
 • Total 403
 • Density 11/km2 (29/sq mi)
Postal code 7492
SFOS number 3511
Surrounded by Arosa, Brienz/Brinzauls, Filisur, Lantsch/Lenz, Schmitten, Surava, Tiefencastel
SFSO statistics

Alvaneu (Romansh: Alvagni) is a former municipality in the district of Albula in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. On 1 January 2015 the former municipalities of Alvaschein, Mon, Stierva, Tiefencastel, Alvaneu, Brienz/Brinzauls and Surava merged to form the new municipality of Albula/Alvra.[1]

On 20 March 2007 Peter Martin Wettler, a media expert and resident of Zurich was appointed Prince of Belfort by the village's authorities.[2]


Alvaneu is first mentioned in 1244 as Aluenude. In 1530 it was mentioned as Allweneü.[3]


Belfort castle ruins near Alvaneu

Before the merger, Alvaneu had a total area of 35.7 km2 (13.8 sq mi).[4] Of this area, 27% is used for agricultural purposes, while 32.8% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 2% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (38.2%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).[4]

The former municipality is located in the Belfort sub-district of the Albula district. It is located on a terrace above the Albula river. It consists of the village of Alvaneu (Alvaneu-Dorf) and Alvaneu-Bad on the valley floor. The municipality also includes the settlement of Aclas d'Alvagni as well as the alpine settlements of Creusch and Ramoz.


Alvaneu had a population (as of 2013) of 403.[4] As of 2007, 7.6% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has decreased at a rate of -6.2%.[4]

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the SVP which received 42% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the CVP (25.1%), the SPS (22.8%) and the FDP (7.9%).[4]

In Alvaneu about 69.7% 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]

Alvaneu has an unemployment rate of 0.27%. As of 2005, there were 43 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 16 businesses involved in this sector. 37 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 4 businesses in this sector. 124 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 23 businesses in this sector.[4]

The historical population is given in the following table:[3][5]

year population
1838 362
1850 354
1880 314
1900 382
1930 441
1950 475
1960 396
1970 421
1980 379
1990 380
2000 407


The traditional language of the population until the middle of the 19th century was Romansh. However, in 1880, only 80.1% of the inhabitants spoke Romansch as their native language. This erosion continued (1910: 68.06%, 1941: 56.0%, 1970: 47.03%). 1960 was the last census that counted a Romansch-speaking majority.

Languages in Alvaneu
Language Census of 1980 Census of 1990 Census of 2000
Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage
German 189 49.87% 230 60.53% 308 76.43%
Romansh 157 41.42% 109 28.68% 68 16.87%
Italian 30 7.92% 28 7.37% 14 3.47%
Population 379 100% 380 100% 403 100%

Although 31% still speak some Romansch, German is now the only official language for municipality business.

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (76.4%), with Rhaeto-Romance being second most common (16.9%) and Italian being third ( 3.5%).[4]


  1. ^ Amtliches Gemeindeverzeichnis der Schweiz published by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (German) accessed 2 January 2013
  2. ^ Leybold-Johnson, Isobel (March 20, 2007). "Mountain village converts to a princedom". Swissinfo. Retrieved 24 September 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Alvaneu in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Portraits of communes". Federal Statistical Office (Switzerland). Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  5. ^ Graubunden in Numbers (German) accessed 21 September 2009

External links[edit]