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The story of Maloja

How an Alp Became a Village - Maloja's Story

The village of Maloja is characterized above all by two buildings: the Hotel Maloja Palace and the Belvedere Tower. They catch the eye when driving into the village from the Engadin, and they contribute to the history of this village. A village that was used as an alp from the 15th century. The alp of Stampa.

The merger of the municipalities in Bergell in 2010 made five municipalities into one. One of the five was previously the municipality of Stampa, whose farmers began to develop what is now Maloja for their May pastures from the 15th century. Original buildings in the hamlets of Cresta, Cad'Maté, Orden, and Pila still bear witness to this. In summer, the farmers of the former municipality of Stampa still bring their cattle to the Casternam alp - located at the entrance to the Val Fedoz.

The name Maloja
"Alder grove" is the meaning of the name of this tranquil hamlet, which was first mentioned in documents in 1244 as "Malongum," then as "Malodia" and "Maloggia," until finally in1947 when "Maloja" came into official use. The name goes back to shepherds from the nearby Veltlin, who thus created a linguistic monument to the alder - Rhaeto-Romanic: Malös or Marös.
The history of Maloja, however, already begins 2000 years before Christ, when the first hunters roamed through the area. The ornamental stones of Maloja, the tombs, and the coin finds are eloquent witnesses of this history. The great importance as a pass village dates back to the Roman times and still today you can find cart tracks of a Roman road on the Malögin, the hiking trail from Maloja to Cavril. The influence of the smugglers, who made their way to Italy and back, also contributed considerably to the economic as well as cultural development of Maloja.
The end of the 18th century was marked by devastation. An effect of the Napoleonic wars.

New beginnings
100 years later, with the arrival of spa tourism, a completely different spirit characterized the village. The Belgian Count Camille de Renesse showed a special pioneering spirit and harbored the ultimately too great ambition of making Maloja the "Monte Carlo of the Alps." He planned the most elegant vacation destination in the Engadin, above all for the high nobility, and in the course of this, he had the gigantic Hotel Maloja Palace, the Hotel Schweizerhaus, the two churches, the Belvedere Castle, and various villas built. Today, the tower is owned by Pro Natura and hosts an exhibition in summer. The Count's plans, however, fell through and Maloja instead became a small friendly vacation resort for the whole family.

Take one of the weekly village tours to learn more about the history of Maloja.
For example, learn what the military bunkers, which have been made accessible again today, are all about or where the 30 or so glacier mills can be found.

Guided village tour Maloja




Address
Maloja Tourist Information
Strada cantonale 367
7516 Maloja