Davos (UK: / /,, US: //; German: [daˈfoːs] or [daˈvoːs] (listen); Romansh: Tavau; archaic Italian: Tavate) is an Alpine resort town and a municipality in the Prättigau/Davos Region in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has a permanent population of 10,832 (2020). Davos is located on the river Landwasser, in the Rhaetian Alps, between the Plessur and Albula Ranges.
|• Executive||Kleiner Landrat |
with 5 members
|• Mayor||Landammann (list)|
Tarzisius Caviezel FDP.The Liberals
(as of March 2014)
|• Parliament||Grosser Landrat |
with 17 members
|• Total||284 km2 (110 sq mi)|
(Church St. Theodul)
|1,560 m (5,120 ft)|
|Highest elevation||3,146 m (10,322 ft)|
(Landwasser (river) near Leidboda)
|1,052 m (3,451 ft)|
|• Density||38/km2 (99/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (Central European Time)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (Central European Summer Time)|
7260 Davos Dorf, 7265 Davos Wolfgang, 7270 Davos Platz, 7272 Davos Clavadel, 7276 Davos Frauenkirch, 7277 Davos Glaris, 7278 Davos Monstein, 7294 Davos Wiesen
|Localities||Davos Dorf, Davos Platz, Frauenkirch, Davos Glaris, Davos Wiesen, Davos Monstein, Davos Clavadel, Laret, Wolfgang, Obem See, Meierhof, Stilli, Bünda, Spina, Tschuggen, Dörfji, In den Büelen, Hof, Teufi, Gadmen, Am Rin, Dürrboden, Sertig Dörfli, Oberalp, Inneralp|
|Surrounded by||Arosa, Bergün/Bravuogn, Klosters-Serneus, Langwies, S-chanf, Susch|
The municipality covers nearly the entire valley of the Landwasser, and the centre of population, economic activity, and administration is two adjacent villages: Davos Dorf (German: Davos Village) and Davos Platz (Davos Place), at 1,560 m (5,120 ft) above sea level.
Gaining prominence in the 19th century as a mountain health resort, Davos is perhaps best known today for hosting the World Economic Forum—often referred to simply as "Davos"—an annual meeting of global political and corporate leaders. With a long history of winter sport, Davos also has one of Switzerland's largest ski resorts, and hosts the international Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament each December.
The current settlement of the Davos area began in the High Middle Ages with the immigration of Rhaeto-Romans. The village of Davos is first mentioned in 1213 as Tavaus. From about 1280 the barons of Vaz allowed German-speaking Walser colonists to settle, and conceded them extensive self-administration rights, causing Davos to become the largest Walser settlement area in eastern Switzerland. Natives still speak a dialect that is atypical for Graubünden, showing similarities with German idioms of western parts of Switzerland, especially the Upper Valais.
In 1436, the League of the Ten Jurisdictions was founded in Davos.
From the middle of the 19th century, Davos modeled on Sokołowsko became a popular destination for the sick and ailing because the microclimate in the high valley was deemed excellent by doctors (initiated by Alexander Spengler) and recommended for lung disease patients. Robert Louis Stevenson, who suffered from tuberculosis, wintered in Davos in 1880 upon the recommendation of his Edinburgh physician Dr. George Balfour. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote an article about skiing in Davos in 1899. A sanatorium in Davos is also the inspiration for the Berghof Sanitorium in Thomas Mann's novel Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain). Between 1936 and 1938, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, then at the end of his life and living in Davos since 1917, depicted Davos and the Junkerboden. His painting has a both Romantic and pantheistic atmosphere and simplified formal structure.
During the natural ice era of winter sports, Davos and the Davos Eisstadion were a mecca for speed skating. Many international championships were held here, and many world records were set, beginning with Peder Østlund who set four records in 1898. The only European Bandy Championship was held in the town in 1913. Subsequently, Davos became a ski resort, especially frequented by tourists from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. After peaking in the 1970s and 1980s, the city settled down as a leading but less high-profile tourist attraction. The American Van Leer family immigrated from here with their former Valär surname. Today Valärs still live and are members of government.
The main village of Davos lies at the top of the narrow valley of the Landwasser at an altitude of 1,560 metres (5,120 ft), just below the Wolfgang Pass. Lake Davos is northeast of the village, formerly the source of the Landwasser.
Of this area, about 35.0% is used for agricultural purposes, while 22.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 2.3% is settled (buildings or roads) and 40.5% is unproductive land. In the 2004/09 survey a total of 337 ha (830 acres) or about 1.2% of the total area was covered with buildings, an increase of 61 ha (150 acres) over the 1985 amount. Over the same time period, the amount of recreational space in the municipality increased by 10 ha (25 acres) and is now about 0.22% of the total area. Of the agricultural land, 1,296 ha (3,200 acres) is fields and grasslands and 9,056 ha (22,380 acres) consists of alpine grazing areas. Since 1985 the amount of agricultural land has decreased by 736 ha (1,820 acres). Over the same time period the amount of forested land has increased by 481 ha (1,190 acres). Rivers and lakes cover 285 ha (700 acres) in the municipality.
The Wolfgang Pass divides the waters flowing into the Landquart from the valley of the Landwasser, and has a year-round road and Rhaetian Railway connection. Crossing the pass leads to the village of Klosters and the Prättigau. Three long side valleys reach out to the south from the main valley of the Landwasser, one of which leads to the Flüela Pass and the Engadin beyond.
The municipality of Davos is divided completely into six Fraktionsgemeinden: Davos Dorf, Davos Platz, Davos Frauenkirch, Davos Glaris, Davos Monstein, and Davos Wiesen. The names of the Fraktionsgemeinden correspond to their largest village within.
Smaller populated places in the municipality are: the village of Davos Clavadel, the hamlets of Laret, Wolfgang, Obem See, Meierhof, Stilli, Bünda, and Spina (in the main Landwasser valley), and Tschuggen, Dörfji, In den Büelen, Hof, Teufi, Gadmen, Am Rin, Dürrboden, Sertig Dörfli, Oberalp, Inneralp (in the side valleys).
Until 2017 the municipality was located in the Davos subdistrict of the Prättigau/Davos district; after 2017 it is part of the Prättigau/Davos Region. In terms of area, it was the largest municipality in Switzerland in 2009 after a municipal merger with Wiesen. Davos lost this distinction after the formation of Glarus Süd in 2010, and today is the 4th largest in the canton of Graubünden.
The wettest month is August during which time Davos receives an average of 150 mm (5.9 in) of precipitation. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 13.6 days. The month with the most days of precipitation is July, with an average of 13.8, but with only 133 mm (5.2 in) of precipitation. The driest month of the year is February with an average of 52 mm (2.0 in) of precipitation over 7.9 days, of which 74 cm (29 in) in 11.1 days are snowfall.
|Climate data for Davos (1991–2020, 1594m a.s.l.)|
|Average high °C (°F)||0.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−4.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−8.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||70
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||89
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||8.8||7.9||8.9||9.0||12.0||13.7||13.8||13.6||10.0||8.7||9.1||9.8||125.3|
|Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm)||11.7||11.1||10.3||7.3||2.1||0.4||0.1||0.1||0.8||3.4||9.1||11.6||68.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||76||73||71||69||71||73||74||76||77||75||77||78||74|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||111||120||154||152||154||167||187||179||160||145||103||93||1,725|
|Percent possible sunshine||54||53||51||48||45||48||53||54||53||54||49||48||51|
The Small Country Council (Kleiner Landrat) constitutes the executive government of the municipality of Davos and operates as a collegiate authority. It is composed of five councilors (German: Landrat/-rätin), each presiding over a department (Departement) comprising several bureaus. The president of the executive department acts as president of the municipality (Landammann or Gemeindepräsident). In the mandate period 2017–2020 (Legislatur) the Small Country Council is presided by Landammann Tarzisius Caviezel. Departmental tasks, coordination measures and implementation of laws decreed by the Grand Country Council are carried by the Small Country Council. The regular election of the municipal councils by any inhabitant valid to vote is held every four years. Any resident of the municipality of Davos allowed to vote and being registered can be elected as a member of the Small Country Council for a maximal period of twelve years. The delegates are selected by means of a system of Majorz. The President is elected as such as well by a public election while the heads of the other departments are assigned by the collegiate. They usually meet once a week.
As of 2017[update], Davos's Small Country Council is made up of two members of FDP (FDP.The Liberals, of whom one is the president), one BDP (Conservative Democratic Party), one SP (Social Democratic Party), and one SVP (Swiss People's Party). The last regular elections (Landschaftswahlen) were held on 5 June 2016.
|Party||Head of Department (Vorsteher, since) of||Elected since|
|Tarzisius Caviezel[KLR 1]||FDP||President's Office (Präsidialdepartement, 2013)||2012|
|Stefan Waiser[KLR 2]||SP||Civil Engineering and Public Facilities (Departement Tiefbau + öffentliche Betriebe, 2017)||2012|
|Simi Valär||FDP||Structural Engineering and Environmental Protection (Departement Hochbau + Umweltschutz, 2017)||2012|
|Valérie Favre Accola||SVP||Education and Energy (Departement Bildung + Energie, 2017)||2016|
|Herbert Mani||BDP||Health and Security (Departement Gesundheit + Sicherheit, 2014)||2013|
The Grand Country Council (Grosser Landrat) holds legislative power. It is made up of 17 members, with elections held every four years. The Grand Country Council decrees regulations and by-laws that are executed by the Small Country Council and the administration. The delegates are selected by means of a system of Majorz.
The sessions of the Grand Country Council are public. They usually meet ten times a year. Members of the Grand Country Council are not politicians by profession, and they are paid a fee based on their attendance. Any resident of Davos allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the Grand Country Council for a maximal period of twelve years.
The last regular election of the Grand Country Council was held on 5 June 2016 for the mandate period (German: Legislatur) from January 2017 to December 2020. Currently the Grand Country Council consist of 7 The Liberals (FDP/PLR), 4 Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC), 2 members of the Social Democratic Party (SP/PS), and one each of the Conservative Democratic Party (BDP/PBD), Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP/PDC), Evangelical People's Party (EVP/PES), and one independent.
In the 2015 federal election the most popular party was the SVP with 30.0% of the votes. The next five parties were the FDP (20.4%), the BDP (15.8%), the SP (14.7%), the glp (12.1%), and CVP (5.2%). In the federal election, a total of 3,231 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 46.7%.
None. Former relations have been cancelled since February 2010 by the council due to thorough austerity measures.
Davos has a population (as of December 2020[update]) of 10,832. As of 2014[update], 27.0% of the population are resident foreign nationals. In 2015 7.3% of the population was born in Germany and 6.9% of the population was born in Portugal. Over the last four years (2010-2014) the population has changed at a rate of -0.27%. The birth rate in the municipality, in 2014, was 9.1, while the death rate was 8.2 per thousand residents.
As of 2014[update], children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 17.3% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) are 64.5% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 18.2%. In 2015 there were 5,099 single residents, 4,666 people who were married or in a civil partnership, 550 widows or widowers and 794 divorced residents.
In 2014 there were 5,441 private households in Davos with an average household size of 2.03 persons. Of the 2,133 inhabited buildings in the municipality, in 2000, about 30.7% were single family homes and 39.1% were multiple family buildings. Additionally, about 25.9% of the buildings were built before 1919, while 8.3% were built between 1991 and 2000. In 2013 the rate of construction of new housing units per 1000 residents was 23.46. The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2015[update], was 0.71%.
Davos is a tourist community and a regional center.
As of 2014[update], there were a total of 8,853 people employed in the municipality. Of these, a total of 203 people worked in 80 businesses in the primary economic sector. The secondary sector employed 996 workers in 145 separate businesses. Finally, the tertiary sector provided 7,654 jobs in 926 businesses. In 2014 a total of 5,211 employees worked in 908 small companies (less than 50 employees). There were 17 mid sized businesses with 2,074 employees and 1 large business which employed 369 people. In 2014 a total of 23.5% of the population received social assistance.
In 2015 local hotels had a total of 797,348 overnight stays, of which 46.9% were international visitors.
From the 2000 census[update], 5,321 residents (46.6% of the population) belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church while 3,950 residents (34.6%) are Roman Catholic. Of the rest of the population, there were 10 individuals (or about 0.09% of the population) who belong to the Christian Catholic faith, 439 individuals (3.85% of the population) who belonged to the Orthodox Church, 274 (2.40%) who belonged to another Christian church, 79 (0.69%) who were Muslim, 56 (0.49%) who belonged to another faith (not listed), and eight residents (0.07%) were Jewish. In addition, 832 residents (7.29%) belonged to no faith, were agnostic or atheist, and 448 individuals (3.92%) did not answer the question.
Davos's ice hockey team, HC Davos, plays in the National League (NL). Their home arena is the Vaillant Arena. In December of each year, the team and arena host the Spengler Cup, an international tournament first held in 1923.
Besides cross-country skiing, offering some 97 km (60 mi) of pistes, Davos has the largest natural ice skating field in Europe. Bandy is occasionally played there. An international tournament, starting in 2014, has been organised. The 1913 European Bandy Championships in Davos is so far the only one of its kind.
There are six main ski areas in winter, with a total of 320 kilometres (200 mi) of slopes:
All areas offer summer transport as well on to the main peaks from mid May until end of October. The remote side valleys heading towards the Engadine area are worth long hikes towards the passes of Sertig or Scaletta Pass to reach, for example, Piz Kesch, an Ultra prominent peak. To the north there are no valleys but rather a direct one-day ascent to continue across a pass into the "Schanfigg" valley towards the rival resort of Arosa or even to continue to Lenzerheide in a two-day hike.
Davos is home to seven sites that are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance.
These heritage sites include the Town Archives, the Kirchner Museum, the Grosses Jenatschhaus (a type of charity house known as a Pfrundhaus) and the Forest Cemetery (Waldfriedhof). Several hotels and spas are also included on the list. The three hotels or former hotels are: Berghotel Schatzalp, the former Grand Hotel Belvédère, and the Zürcher Höhenklinik von R. Gaberel.
Davos hosts annual meetings of the World Economic Forum. The city was featured in an episode of Viva La Bam, when cities around Europe were visited. On 14 March 2003, a festival called Winterjam was held in the city and bands such as Sum 41, Crazy Town, and Guano Apes performed during this event.
Davos is part of the rail network of the Rhaetian Railway (RhB). The RhB has two main stations in Davos: Davos Dorf (northeast) and Davos Platz (southwest). Other stations in the municipality include Davos Wolfgang and Davos Laret towards Klosters, and Davos Frauenkirch, Davos Glaris, Davos Monstein, and Davos Wiesen towards Filisur.
The valley station Davos Dorf DKB of the funicular Parsennbahn to Weissfluhjoch (Parsenn) is in Davos Dorf, the one to Schatzalp, the station Davos Platz Schatzalpbahn in Davos Platz. Also in Davos Platz are the bottom stations of the cable car to the Jakobshorn, the station Davos Platz DKB (right next to the corresponding railway station), but also the one of the chair lift to Usser Isch, namely the Davos Platz (Talstation Carjöl).
Local buses are operated by Verkehrsbetrieb der Landschaft Davos Gemeinde (vbd).
Davos has several research institutes: the AO Foundation focusing on trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), the World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC) and the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL).
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Davos.|