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History of S-chanf

In the past, mule drivers in particular stopped in S-chanf, Susauna, and Chapella. The Scaletta Pass (Scaletta = ladder,) which leads from Davos to Cinuos-chel, used to be part of an important mule-train connection between the Lake Constance area (Montafon) and the Veltlin, which was under Graubünden rule between 1512 and 1797. Farmers brought the products of their livestock farming to the south and fetched wine and grain from there. Whoever hikes over the Scalettapass today does so on a part of the mule track known as the long-distance Via Valtellina.

Historically, S-chanf was mentioned for the first time in 1139, when the diocese of Chur bought sovereign rights and land in the Upper Engadin from the Counts of Gamertingen. Initially recorded as "Scaneues" (1139), the village name went through several metamorphoses via "Shân" (1297), "Scanevo" and "Scanef" (both 1304, 1356, and 1375) to today's S-chanf. The first human traces were found by head forester Eduard Campell on Botta Striera on the ridge between La Sassa and God God. They are clay shards from about 599 B.C., which can now be seen in the Engadin Museum in St. Moritz.   

The present boundaries of S-chanf were established in 1543 in the course of the division of the Upper Engadin into its political communities. As in many Graubünden valleys, a tradition of emigration began in the 16th century and lasted until the early 20th century, bringing a certain prosperity to the villages thanks to the successful returnees. Confectioners from S-chanf made careers in Le Havre, Bordeaux, Breslau, Danzig, and Königsberg. The money that flowed back to their homeland made S-chanf the most populous community in the Upper Engadin: in 1806 it had 450 inhabitants. Today, S-chanf, with its 700 or so inhabitants, is known primarily as the destination of the Engadin Ski Marathon and for the abundance of wildlife in its surroundings, which are part of the Swiss National Park.