St. Moritz (also German: Sankt Moritz, Romansh: San Murezzan (help·info), Italian: San Maurizio,[a] French: Saint-Moritz) is a high Alpine resort town in the Engadine in Switzerland, at an elevation of about 1,800 metres (5,910 ft) above sea level. It is Upper Engadine's major village and a municipality in the district of Maloja in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
St. Moritz lies on the southern slopes of the Albula Alps below the Piz Nair (3,056 m or 10,026 ft) overlooking the flat and wide glaciated valley of the Upper Engadine and eponymous lake: Lake St. Moritz. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948.
St. Moritz on an evening in February 2009, with a frozen lake
Coat of arms
Location of St. Moritz
|• Total||28.69 km2 (11.08 sq mi)|
|1,822 m (5,978 ft)|
|• Density||170/km2 (440/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||German: St. Moritzer(in)|
|Localities||St. Moritz-Dorf, St. Moritz-Bad, Suvretta, Champfèr (eastern part)|
|Surrounded by||Bever, Celerina/Schlarigna, Samedan, Silvaplana|
Votive offerings, swords, and needles from the Bronze Age found at the base of the springs in St. Moritz indicate that the Celts had already discovered them. St. Moritz is first mentioned around 1137–39 as ad sanctum Mauricium. The village was named after Saint Maurice, an early Christian saint from southern Egypt said to have been martyred in 3rd century Roman Switzerland while serving as leader of the Theban Legion.
Pilgrims traveled to Saint Mauritius often to the church of the springs, where they drank from the blessed, bubbling waters of the Mauritius springs in the hopes of being healed. In 1519, the Medici pope, Leo X, promised full absolution to anyone making a pilgrimage to the church of the springs. In the 16th century, the first scientific treatises about the St. Moritz mineral springs were written. In 1535, Paracelsus, the great practitioner of nature cures, spent some time in St. Moritz.
Although it received some visitors during the summer, the origins of the winter resort only date back 155 years ago to September 1864, when St. Moritz hotel pioneer Caspar Badrutt made a wager with four British summer guests: they should return in winter and, in the event that the village was not to their liking, he would reimburse their travel costs. If they were to find St. Moritz attractive in winter, he would invite them to stay as his guests for as long as they wished. This marked not only the start of winter tourism in St. Moritz but the start of winter tourism in the whole of the Alps. The first tourist office in Switzerland was established the same year in the village. St. Moritz developed rapidly in the late nineteenth century; the first electric light in Switzerland was installed in 1878 at the Kulm Hotel, and the first curling tournament on the continent was held in 1880. The first European Ice-Skating Championships were held at St. Moritz in 1882 and first golf tournament in the Alps held in 1889. The first bob run and bob race was held in 1890. By 1896, St. Moritz became the first village in the Alps to install electric trams and opened the Palace Hotel. A horse race was held on snow in 1906, and on the frozen lake the following year. The first ski school in Switzerland was established in St. Moritz in 1929.
St. Moritz hosted the 1928 Winter Olympics, the stadium still stands today, and again in 1948. It has hosted over 20 FIBT World Championships, three FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (1934/1974/2003) and over 40 Engadin Skimarathons since 1969. It has also hosted many other events since, including some unlikely ones on the frozen lake in the 1970s and 1980s such as a golf tournament, (1979), a polo tournament (every year in February starting in 1985) and cricket (1989). St. Moritz has also been the venue for many Sailing and Windsurfing World Championships.
Since the early 1980s St. Moritz is also promoted and known as Top of the World. The expression was registered as a trademark by the tourist office in 1987.
Between 9–12 June 2011, St. Moritz was the site of the Bilderberg Group conference, an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of approximately 120 to 140 guests from North America and Western Europe, most of whom are people of influence.
St. Moritz had an area, (as of the 2004/09 survey) of 28.69 km2 (11.08 sq mi). Of this area, about 26.3% is used for agricultural purposes, while 20.0% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 9.0% is settled (buildings or roads) and 44.8% is unproductive land. In the 2004/09 survey a total of 160 ha (400 acres) or about 5.6% of the total area was covered with buildings, an increase of 23 ha (57 acres) over the 1985 amount. Over the same time period, the amount of recreational space in the municipality increased by 3 ha (7.4 acres) and is now about 1.15% of the total area. Of the agricultural land 149 ha (370 acres) is fields and grasslands, and 643 ha (1,590 acres) consists of alpine grazing areas. Since 1985 the amount of agricultural land has decreased by 37 ha (91 acres). Over the same time period the amount of forested land has increased by 33 ha (82 acres). Rivers and lakes cover 91 ha (220 acres) in the municipality.
Before 2017, the municipality was located in the Oberengadin sub-district of the Maloja district, after 2017 it was part of the Maloja Region. It consists of the settlements of St. Moritz-Dorf (elev. 1,830 m (6,005 ft)), Bad (1,775 m (5,825 ft)), Champfèr (1,825 m (5,990 ft)), and the village section of Suvretta.
St. Moritz has been a resort for winter sport vacations since the 19th century. Students from Oxford and Cambridge went there to play each other; the predecessor of the recurring Ice Hockey Varsity Match was a bandy match played in St. Moritz in 1885. St. Moritz was the host city for the Winter Olympic Games in 1928 and 1948, one of three cities to host twice, along with Innsbruck, Austria and Lake Placid in the United States. It also hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1934, 1974, 2003, and 2017.
Additionally, St. Moritz has hosted the FIBT World Championships (bobsleigh and skeleton racing) a record 21 times. Since 1985, it has hosted polo tournaments played on snow, featuring many of the world's finest team and played on a specially-marked field on the frozen lake.
St. Moritz is extremely popular in the summer months as an altitude training base for distance athletes, particularly cyclists, runners, and race walkers. Its popularity extends to the altitude, weather, world class athletics track, and availability of paths and trails in the area.
In 1904, the oldest and world's last remaining natural bob run was opened. The 1.72 km (1.07 mi) ice channel – also known as the world's biggest "ice sculpture" – is built every winter from the ground up with only snow and water. The bob run hosted numerous world championships and was used in both Olympic Winter Games. In the early 1930s, some members of the bob club started taking guests along for taxi rides; today they run with slightly modified racing bobs.
For the 1928 games, the cross-country skiing and the cross-country skiing part of the Nordic combined events took place around the hills of St. Moritz. Twenty years later, once again the cross-country skiing, the cross-country skiing part of the Nordic combined, and the ice hockey events took place in St. Moritz.
In addition to the above sports, St. Moritz is also well known as a destination for sailing. It is the host venue for the annual St. Moritz Match Race held on lake St. Moritz. The St. Moritz Match Race event is part of the prestigious World Match Racing Tour which covers 3 continents. The event draws the world's best sailing teams to St. Moritz in a gladiatorial battle of nerve and skill on the water. The identical supplied (BLU-26) boats are raced two at a time in an on the water dogfight which tests the sailors and skippers to the limits of their physical abilities. Points accrued count towards the World Match Racing Tour and a place in the final event, with the overall winner taking the title ISAF World Match Racing Tour Champion. Match racing is an ideal sport for spectators in St. Moritz. Racing in such close proximity (approximately 15 m) to the Lake St. Moritz shoreline provides excellent heart of the action viewing for the audience.
Thanks to its favorable location, St. Moritz enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year. Every winter it hosts the "White Turf" horse race on the frozen Lake St. Moritz attended by the international upper class.
The year-round population is 5,600, with some 3,000 seasonal employees supporting hotels and rental units with a total of 13,000 beds.
St. Moritz has a population (as of 31 December 2017) of 4,994. As of 2008, 38.0% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. Over the 10 years up to 2009 the population decreased at a rate of 4.9%.
As of 2000, the gender distribution of the population was 45.4% male and 54.6% female. The age distribution, as of 2000, in St. Moritz is; 423 children or 7.6% of the population are between 0 and 9 years old and 502 teenagers or 9.0% are between 10 and 19. Of the adult population, 960 people or 17.2% of the population are between 20 and 29 years old. 1,055 people or 18.9% are between 30 and 39, 864 people or 15.5% are between 40 and 49, and 820 people or 14.7% are between 50 and 59. The senior population distribution is 532 people or 9.5% of the population are between 60 and 69 years old, 289 people or 5.2% are between 70 and 79, there are 121 people or 2.2% who are between 80 and 89, and there are 23 people or 0.4% who are 90 and older.
In 2014 there were 2,822 private households in St. Moritz with an average household size of 1.84 persons. Of the 884 inhabited buildings in the municipality, in 2000, about 29.1% were single family homes and 40.8% were multiple family buildings. Additionally, about 19.9% of the buildings were built before 1919, while 8.6% were built between 1991 and 2000. In 2013 the rate of construction of new housing units per 1000 residents was 9.32. The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2015, was 3.18%.
|Population by Nationality (Census 2000)|
In the 2015 federal election the most popular party was the FDP with 31.0% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SVP (27.0%), the BDP (15.1%) and the CVP (11.0%). In the federal election, a total of 1,428 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 54.1%.
In St. Moritz about 65.8% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).
St. Moritz is a regional economic centre and a tourist community. As of 2014, there were a total of 7,590 people employed in the municipality. Of these, a total of 24 people worked in 7 businesses in the primary economic sector. The secondary sector employed 1,039 workers in 74 separate businesses. A minority (17.0%) of the secondary sector employees worked in very small businesses. There were 22 small businesses with a total of 533 employees and 3 mid sized businesses with a total of 329 employees. Finally, the tertiary sector provided 6,527 jobs in 768 businesses. In 2014 a total of 3,820 employees worked in 752 small companies (less than 50 employees). There were 14 mid sized businesses with 1,928 employees and 2 large businesses which employed 779 people (for an average size of 389.5). The Badrutt's Palace Hotel (Five Star) has a staff of 520 persons and is the biggest employer in St.Moritz.
In 2014 a total of 9.3% of the population received social assistance.
In the second quarter of 2016 an average of 1,062 workers commuted from outside Switzerland to work in the municipality, representing a minority of the employees.
Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (58.8%), with Italian being second most common (21.8%), and Portuguese being third (6.6%). Originally, 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 50.2% spoke Romansh as a first language. Romansh lost ground to both German and Italian. In 1900, 31% of the population spoke Italian as a first language, and in 1910, it was about the same. In the following years, the percentage of Romansh and Italian speakers both decreased against German speakers. In 1941, only 20% spoke Romansh, and in 1970 it was 8%. In 2000, only 13% of the population of St. Moritz even understood Romansh.
|Languages in St. Moritz GR|
|Languages||Census 1980||Census 1990||Census 2000|
St. Moritz railway station is situated in the centre of the town, near the lakeshore and at the bottom of Via Serlas. It is operated by the Rhaetian Railway, and is the terminus that railway's Albula and Bernina lines. The Glacier Express and Bernina Express trains stop at St. Moritz.
Near the railway station is an important Swiss PostBus stop.
The 1928 Winter Olympics, officially known as the II Olympic Winter Games (French: Les IIes Jeux olympiques d'hiver; German: Olympische Winterspiele 1928; Italian: II Giochi olimpici invernali; Romansh: Gieus olimpics d'enviern 1928), were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated February 11–19, 1928 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
The 1928 Games were the first true Winter Olympics held on its own as they were not in conjunction with a Summer Olympics. The preceding 1924 Games were retroactively renamed the inaugural Winter Olympics, though they had been in fact part of the 1924 Summer Olympics. All preceding Winter Events of the Olympic Games were the winter sports part of the schedule of the Summer Games, and not held as a separate Winter Games. These games also replaced the now redundant Nordic Games, that were held quadrennially since early in the century.
Fluctuating weather conditions made these Olympics memorable. The opening ceremony was held in a blizzard. In contrast, warm weather conditions plagued the Olympics for the remainder of the Games, requiring cancellations of one event with temperatures as high as 25 °C (77 °F). (See further description at the Wikipedia main article on Winter Olympic Games.)1938 European Figure Skating Championships
The 1938 European Figure Skating Championships were the European Figure Skating Championships of the 1937-1938 season. Elite senior-level figure skaters from European ISU Member Nations competed for the title of European Champion. Skaters competed in the disciplines of ladies' singles, men's singles, and pair skating.The European Championships were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1938.1940 Winter Olympics
The 1940 Winter Olympics, which would have been officially known as the V Olympic Winter Games (第五回オリンピック冬季競技大会, Dai Go-kai Orinpikku Tōkikyōgi Taikai), were to have been celebrated from 3 to 12 February 1940 in Sapporo, Japan, but the games were eventually cancelled due to the onset of World War II. Sapporo subsequently hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics.1948 Winter Olympics
The 1948 Winter Olympics, officially known as the V Olympic Winter Games (French: Les Ves Jeux olympiques d'hiver; German: Olympische Winterspiele 1948; Italian: V Giochi olimpici invernali; Romansh: Gieus olimpics d'enviern 1948), was a winter multi-sport event celebrated in 1948 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
The Games were the first to be celebrated after World War II; it had been 12 years since the last Winter Games in 1936. From the selection of a host city in a neutral country to the exclusion of Japan and Germany, the political atmosphere of the post-war world was inescapable during the Games. The organizing committee faced several challenges due to the lack of financial and human resources consumed by the war. These were the first of two winter Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Sigfrid Edström.
There were 28 nations that marched in the opening ceremonies on January 30, 1948. Nearly 670 athletes competed in 22 events in four sports. The Games also featured two demonstration sports: military patrol, which later became the biathlon, and winter pentathlon, which was discontinued after these Games. Notable performances were turned in by figure skaters Dick Button and Barbara Ann Scott and skier Henri Oreiller. Most of the athletic venues were already in existence from the first time St. Moritz hosted the Winter Games in 1928. All of the venues were outdoors, which meant the Games were heavily dependent on favorable weather conditions.Badrutt's Palace Hotel
The Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is a historic luxury hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The hotel opened in 1896 and has 157 rooms, of which 37 are suites. The majority shareholders are Hansjürg and Anikó Badrutt.
The hotel has seven different restaurants: Le Restaurant, which serves French cuisine and international cuisine; the Renaissance Bar; La Diala, which offers a light Mediterranean cuisine; La Coupole/Matsuhisa@Badrutt’s Palace, an exclusive venue in belle époque style; and the Chesa Veglia, the oldest farmhouse in St. Moritz, built in 1658, with three additional restaurants and two bars.Bobsleigh and Skeleton European Championship
The European Bobsleigh and Skeleton Championships is the main bobsleigh and skeleton championships in Europe.Commonwealth Winter Games
The Commonwealth Winter Games was a multi-sport event comprising winter sports, last held in 1966. Three editions of the Games have been staged. The Winter Games were designed as a counterbalance to the Commonwealth Games, which focuses on summer sports, to accompany the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympic Games.FIBT World Championships 1937
The FIBT World Championships 1937 took place in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy (Two-man) and in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Four-man). St. Moritz hosted the four-man event previously in 1931 and 1935.FIBT World Championships 2007
The FIBT World Championships 2007 took place in St. Moritz, Switzerland for the record twenty-first time, doing so previously in 1931 (Four-man), 1935 (Four-man), 1937 (Four-man), 1938 (Two-man), 1939 (Two-man), 1947, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1965, 1970, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1989 (Skelton), 1990 (Bobsleigh), 1997 (Bobsleigh), 1998 (Skeleton), and 2001 (Men's bobsleigh). The mixed team event consisting of one run each of men's skeleton, women's skeleton, 2-man bobsleigh, and 2-women bobsleigh debuted at these championships.FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2017
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2017 were the 44th FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and were held from 6 to 19 February 2017 at Piz Nair in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The host city was selected at the FIS Congress in South Korea, on 31 May 2012. The other finalists were Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, and Åre, Sweden.It was the fifth Alpine World Ski Championships at St. Moritz, after 1934, 1948, 1974, and 2003.IBSF World Championships (bobsleigh and skeleton)
The IBSF World Championships (known as the FIBT World Championships until 2015), part of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, have taken place on an annual basis in non-Winter Olympic years since 1930. A two-man event was included in 1931 with a combined championship occurring in 1947. Men's skeleton was introduced as a championship of its own in 1982 while women's bobsleigh and skeleton events were introduced in 2000. Both the women's bobsleigh and skeleton events were merged with the men's bobsleigh events at the 2004 championships. A mixed team event, consisting of one run each of men's skeleton, women's skeleton, 2-man bobsleigh, and 2-women bobsleigh debuted in 2007.Ice hockey at the 1948 Winter Olympics
The men's ice hockey tournament at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, was the 6th Olympic Championship, also serving as the 15th World Championships and the 26th European Championships. Canada, represented by the Ottawa RCAF Flyers team of Canadian Armed Forces personnel, won its fifth Olympic gold medal and 12th World Championship. Highest finishing European team Czechoslovakia won the silver medal and its eighth European Championship.Olympiaschanze
Olympiaschanze was a ski jumping venue in St. Moritz, Switzerland, it was built in 1926 and closed in 2006. The ski jumping and the ski jumping part of the Nordic combined event for the 1928 Winter Olympics.
Its K-point was 66 m.Rhaetian Railway
The Rhaetian Railway (German: Rhätische Bahn, Italian: Ferrovia Retica, Romansh: Viafier Retica), abbreviated RhB, is a Swiss transport company that owns the largest network of all private railway operators in Switzerland. The RhB operates all the railway lines of the Swiss canton of Graubünden/Grisons, except for the line from Sargans to the cantonal capital, Chur, which are operated by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FFS), and the line from Disentis/Mustér to the Oberalp Pass, and further on to Andermatt, Uri, which is operated by Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB). Inaugurated in 1888 and expanded from 1896 onwards in various sections, the RhB network is located almost entirely within Graubünden, with one station across the Italian border at Tirano.
The Rhaetian Railway serves a number of major tourist destinations, such as St Moritz and Davos. One of the RhB lines, the Bernina Railway, crosses the Bernina Pass at 2,253 metres (7,392 ft) above sea level and runs down to Tirano, Lombardy in Italy.
In 2008, the RhB section from the Albula/Bernina area (the part from Thusis to Tirano, including St Moritz) was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Albula-Bernina line is the first rail line in the world to be photographed and put on Google Street View.St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic Bobrun
The Olympia Bob Run St. Moritz-Celerina is a bobsleigh track located in the Engadin Valley, Switzerland. It officially opened on New Year's Day 1904 and is the oldest bobsleigh track in the world and the only one that is natural refrigerated. It is also used for other sliding sports, including skeleton and luge.St. Moritz (Rhaetian Railway station)
St. Moritz is a railway station in the resort town of St. Moritz, in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. It is the southern terminus of the Albula Railway line from Chur, and a northern terminus for the Bernina Railway line from Tirano in Italy. The station also serves as a terminus for local bus and Postbus services.
Hourly services operate on both the Albula and Bernina lines. Because these two lines operate with different types and levels of power supply, St Moritz is also a "Power supply switch" station (Systemwechselbahnhof).
The station is located at a height of 1,775 m (5,823 ft) above sea level and is the highest urban railway station in Switzerland.St. Moritz Ice Rink
The St. Moritz Ice Rink was a popular ice rink housed in a grand venue on The Esplanade, St. Kilda, Victoria, which operated between 1939–1981. As one of only two ice rinks in Melbourne in the 40s and 50s, it played a central role to the sport of ice hockey in Australia. Closed in 1982, it soon suffered a major fire and was then demolished, an event later seen as a major blow to the heritage of St Kilda.St. Moritz Olympic Ice Rink
St. Moritz Olympic Ice Rink (German: Eisstadion Badrutts Park) is an outdoor stadium in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It was the venue for the ice hockey, speedskating and figure skating events, as well as the location of the opening and closing ceremonies at the 1928 Winter Olympics and 1948 Winter Olympics.Artist and designer Rolf Sachs now owns the stadium's former land, and the building containing the changing facilities for athletes and officials and observation facility serves as his personal home.Venues of the 1948 Winter Olympics
For the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, a total of eight sports venues were used. The five venues used for the 1928 Winter Olympics were reused for these games. Three new venues were added for alpine skiing which had been added to the Winter Olympics program twelve years earlier in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (Allied-occupied Germany during the 1948 Games). As of 2015, the bob run continues to be used for bobsleigh and the Cresta Run for skeleton while alpine skiing remains popular in St. Moritz.
|Climate data for Climate normals Samedan (Reference period 1981−2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||−1.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−9.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−16.3
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||28
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||51.8
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||5.3||4.2||4.8||6.0||9.3||10.3||10.0||10.5||7.8||7.6||7.0||6.0||88.8|
|Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm)||9.1||7.4||7.6||5.8||1.5||0.3||0.1||0.1||0.6||2.0||6.8||9.1||50.4|
|Average relative humidity (%)||77||73||70||69||69||69||70||73||74||75||77||79||73|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||117||122||140||138||158||176||200||180||154||140||106||103||1,733|
|Percent possible sunshine||58||58||53||47||46||49||57||57||58||58||52||53||53|
|Source: MeteoSchweiz |