In the beginning there was light. And the artists saw the light, and it was good. Excellent, in fact – this sublime Engadin light that turns a beautiful view into a breathtaking one. It’s no wonder that on Muottas Muragl artists find a source of power as well as inspiration. Creative evidence of their art presents itself not only in museums but also along the hiking path!
For centuries now, Muottas Muragl – this box seat of the Gods with its magnificent panorama, heavenly peace and exuberant nature – has been inspiring painters, poets, philosophers and other creative minds from all over the world. Well-known figures like Giovanni Segantini, Giovanni Giacometti and Friedrich Nietzsche have gazed into that bewitching distance that can only be truly appreciated from the top of this mountain. They willingly fell under the spell of that extraordinary light and immortalised it in their works of art.
Once upon a time, on an autumn morning in 1897, the two master painters Giovanni Segantini and Giovanni Giacometti set off on foot to Muottas Muragl. Together with their famous colleagues Ferdinand Hodler and Cuno Amiet, they had been commissioned to create a gigantic cyclorama for the Paris World Exhibition of 1900. And Segantini and Giacometti knew exactly which motif they would contribute to it: the spectacular view from Muottas Muragl over the Engadin lake chain and the surrounding mountains, of course! Sadly, this mammoth project never progressed beyond the early stages of sketching. Instead, Segantini processed this day trip in his epic triptych “Life – Nature – Death” (La Vita – La Natura – La Morte), which is based on the view from the Segantini Hut, his very own place of inspiration situated a little above Muottas Muragl. Another epic work of art is Giacometti’s quadripartite panorama which depicts the view from Val Roseg to Piz Ot and which he created for the decoration of a St. Moritz chalet.
To this day, Muottas Muragl serves as a meeting place between the works of artists and interested hikers as they walk along the art path «Senda d’Inspiraziun». This circular trail starts just above the Romantik Hotel at the summit station and features sculptures by five Swiss artists:
The world’s most accurate sundial is called «Sine Sole Sileo» (Latin for «Without the sun, I fall silent») and it allows observers to read the time with an accuracy of 10 seconds. For his installation on a boulder, amateur constructor Fred Bangerter came upon prime conditions on Muottas Muragl as it is one of the sunniest spots in Switzerland. Have we sparked your interest in the interaction of sun, shadow and time? Here (Link auf Story zur Sonnenuhr) you can learn more about it.
Also with «Il Guot» (Romansh for «the drop»), a work of the sculptor Timo Lindner, the name says it all. The huge snow-white drop made from natural rock, mortar and marble symbolises the world of water: water in our body, in the sea, as rain, in outer space as ice – and, of course, as snow in the Engadin. The four metres high sculpture which, like all works by Lindner, appears rudimentary and archaic, reflects the meaning of the simple things in everyday life that will never cease to make us happy.
«Cruscheda» (Romansh for «crossing») by Curdin Niggli commemorates the hundredth anniversary of the Muottas Muragl funicular. Its form mimics the crossing of the two railways in the middle of the route. The iron sculpture symbolises the planners’ iron will as well as their relentless pioneering spirit (Link auf Story Pionierleistung/Tourismusgeschichte) that paved the way in 1907 for the touristic development of Muottas Muragl by means of the funicular.
All of the formidable mountains that seem to form a guard of honour around Muottas Muragl command the visitors’ admiration, but the three mountain viewers featured in «Ils Trais Piz» by Fabian Forrer focus the spotlight on the Bianco ridge of Piz Bernina, Piz Julier and Piz Ot.
The walk-in sculpture «Bernina Glaciers» by Ramon Zangger dedicates itself to the glorious summit panorama. Made from Engadin pine wood, the work of art invites hikers to linger and to admire the impressive alpine massifs that surround Muottas Muragl.