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The story of Madulain

This enchanting farming village is wonderfully tranquil, having carefully preserved its naturalness.

The most striking feature of Madulain is shown to anyone who strolls through the village: Here nestles one house to the other, beautifully in a uniform Engadine style and as a defense against all hardships that could penetrate from the outside. This closed authentic village image is unique in the Upper Engadin: Here life still takes place only in the village, because as the tourism here was reluctant, old Engadine houses did not have to make way for large hotel buildings and holiday homes were only built in a settlement just above the village.

Between Zuoz and La Punt Madulain was and is the smallest Upper Engadin municipality with today about 230 inhabitants. On the other hand, the following figures are more impressive: The village lies at 1700 m above sea level. M., but the municipality reaches up to the summit of the 3162 m high Piz Val Müra. Furthermore, two alps and an enclave in the Val Chamuera belong to Madulain, although the latter has long since ceased to be managed by the community: for almost 170 years, it has been "eternally" given to the Orlandi family of Bever (now the Planta family of Zuoz as descendants of Orlandi) leased.

The oldest archaeological find revealed that the house Suot Mulin was built about 700-1000 years ago. At that time it was at the bottom of the village and connected directly to the swamp area on the Inn, today it is one of the top houses. This is interpreted as an indication that the settlement of Madulain was higher up in the early days, near the castle of Guardaval, where the road from Zuoz ran along the Es-cha stream towards Albula Pass. The origin of the present village began in 1507/09 with the construction of the church of San Batrumieu, when a new route from Zuoz to Madulain was established (today: Via Veglia). The first houses that were built around this new church at that time are z. Eg the houses Guardaval, Sur Baseglia or Plazze t.

If we look for the name in old documents, we find it for the first time in a document of 1137, which proved the then largest land sale in the canton: The counts Ulrich and Adalbert von Gamertingen sold their entire possessions in the Upper Engadine, including "Madulene" the Bishop of Chur. It is not known why this trade took place, but the price paid by Bishop Conrad I of Biberegg was that he bought the entire territory for 80 silver coins and 600 gold ounces. Also not clearly determine the origin of the village name, of which - as in the Middle Ages no uniform spelling was known - various variants emerged, including z. Madulene, Madulens or Maduley. The most obvious explanation is a derivation of "metallum", since copper had been mined in the Val d'Es-cha in prehistoric times.

Madulain's location between Albula Pass and the then main town Zuoz meant that the village served as a customs station in the early Middle Ages. Remains of the old customs house can still be seen at Punt Gianet. Even the construction of the striking castle Guardaval (now a ruin) is due to this function and the Bishop of Chur and his fiefs used them both as a sign of their power, but also to secure the landlordly rights. In 1420 it burned down for unknown reasons and was not rebuilt. A heroic-romantic, but unrealistic explanation finds a famous Engadine legend in the history of the last guard of Guardaval and Adam of Camogask (rätorom .: Chamues-hc) ((Link to: History of Chamues-ch))

After Madulain was initially a faction of Zuoz, the village begins from 1530 to replace his "mother church" until finally in 1543 the so-called graduation certificate sealed his independence. The Madulainers also gave themselves their own constitution: Proud 85 articles regulated almost the entire life in the small village and keep in detail u. a. Economic and village life was characterized by the agriculture, but as everywhere at pass crossings here also the transit traffic gave people additional work and income: so could be until the mid-18th century Horse riders, blacksmiths, Wagner and other representatives of related professions with their families in Madulain down. Although tourism in the dreamy village could not gain a foothold in the same way as in the other Engadine communities, Madulain was never poor, which may be due to the fact that the numerous emigrants, mainly confectioners or liquor sellers, sent considerable sums of money back home. In Madulain, stately homes were also built by this fresh capital.

Even today, Madulain is not one of the big resorts with all kinds of activities. The village had to be "discovered" by travelers back then and still today and is still considered an insider tip.