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The story of Maloja

Maloja, the gateway to the Engadin, lies directly on the southern shore of Lake Sils.

"Small alder forest' is the meaning of the name of this quiet village, first mentioned in documents in 1244 as 'Malongum', later as 'Malodia' and 'Maloggia', until the name 'Maloja' came into official use in 1947. It goes back to the time when the shepherds of the neighbouring Valtellina made alder - in Rhaeto-Romanic: Malös or Marös - into a linguistic monument.

The history of Maloja begins as early as 2000 years B.C., when the first hunters roamed the area. Maloja's ornamental stones, tub tombs and coin finds are eloquent witnesses to this history. The great importance of the settlement as a transit village dates back to Roman times and traces of a Roman road can still be found on the path to Cavril. The influence of the passage of smugglers over the dangerous paths to Italy and back also contributed greatly to the economic and cultural development of Maloja.

From the 15th century, Maloja was occupied by farmers from Stampa in Bergell as a summer residence, which can still be seen today in the original buildings in the hamlets of Cresta, Cà d' Maté, Orden and Pila. Plundering, devastation and occupation by Napoleon's troops marked the end of the 18th century: French and Austrian troops made this a turbulent and unhappy time.

After 100 years, a very different spirit marked the municipality when spa tourism started to erupt in Maloja. The Belgian Count Camille de Renesse showed a particular pioneering spirit and nurtured the (ultimately) great ambition to make this small village the 'Monte Carlo of the Alps'. He planned the most elegant holiday resort in the Engadin, especially for the high nobility, and in the process built the gigantic Hotel Maloja Palace, the Hotel Schweizerhaus, the two churches, Belvedere Castle and various villas. “Unfortunately” his plans failed and Maloja became a small, cosy holiday destination for all families.




Address
Maloja Tourist Information
Strada cantonale 367
7516 Maloja