Places of interest
from Maloja to Castasegna
Bregaglia Valley has many lovely hidden corners and is worth even a brief visit.Bregaglia Valley has a variety of ruins, churches, quaint villages and many hidden corners well worth a visit. The ruins of San Gaudenzio, the Pretorio and "Lan Muraia," are just a few of the cultural highlights worth seeing. There is much to explore and discover in Bregaglia.
The Belgian Count Camille von Renesse visited the Engadine in 1880 and immediately fell in love with the area. He therefore decided to build the Maloja Palace complex. The Maloja Palace was to be the focal point, surrounded by small exclusive houses, restaurants, two churches and the "Belvedere" tower, the Count's residence.
Count de Renesse had the church built in 1882 according to the design of the famous Belgian architect Jules Rauh.
While hikers on the passes can still make out trenches from 1st World War, all 42 modern fortresses built after 1936 are so well camouflaged that they are hardly ever noticed. The fortresses can only be visited with a guided tour.
36 glacial potholes have been exposed in the area northwest Maloja. A nature trail with information boards satisfies the curiosity for konwledge about the phenomenon of the glacial mill and also explains the botanical rarities found here.
Giovanni Segantini died on 28 September, at the age of 41. On 1 October 1899, he was buried in the small cemetery in Maloja. Segantini had made this cemetery the subject of his painting “The Consolation of Faith” in 1896.
Despite its medieval appearence the building dates back to 1882. The castle was built as a personal residence by the eccentric Belgian Count Camille de Renesse who at the end of the nineteenth century dreamed of transforming Maloja into a popular tourist destination for wealthy aristocrats.
The ruins of San Gaudenzio Church are located on a hillside just above Casaccia. The first reports of the church date back to 831 AD.
Near the main square with its typical stone fountain, is the "Pretorio," the old town hall and main courthouse, which was built in 1583.
The series of sculptures inspired by the tragicomedy "La Stria" was realized in 2003 by Ugo Giacometti in collaboration with Patrick Giovanoli as part of the project "Segni".
Giacometti's graves in Stampa
The cemetery of St. Giorgio is regularly visited by tourists and locals, here lie the artists of the Giacometti family. The inscriptions and bronze reliefs on the graves were restored in 2017, after being declared a "family grave" by the municipality.
An old basement of the Press House, next to the Ciäsa Granda Museum, houses an exhibition of significant people of and for the Bergell Valley. Stories are told about people who are still active and those who are now deceased.
The grave is also called “Soldier’s Grave” or “Stone Grave, or in Italian “Masso Avello,” literally translated “Sink Rock.” It is cut with great precision into a large flat granite block and lies directly on the southern bank of the Maira River, which flows through Bregaglia.
Palazzo Salis was built in 1766-76 by the architect Francesco Corce from Milan, commissioned by Count Hieronymus von Salis, a British diplomat of Swiss origin. The palace is made of a large building with a basement, two main floors and a mezzanine floor. It is a private building and can be visited only on request with a guided tour.
On the lower hill by Promontogno, there are the medieval ruins of the fortification wall with a passage in the middle, Lan Müraia. On the hill "Castelmur" there is the church of Nossa Donna and the five-story square tower.
"Artigianale Bregaglia," (Bregaglia Handicrafts) offers visitors the opportunity to buy locally handmade crafts. Here you can find wooden toys, lamps, dishes, kitchen utensils, dolls, tea towels, sweaters and dresses for children, blankets and many other original creations, genuine, useful and beautiful in their simplicity.
The current building of the Hotel Palazzo Salis was built in 1630 as a residence for Baptista von Salis. Together with other neighbouring Palazzos, the hotel building is the architectural focus of the excellently preserved townscape of this high-altitude Bregell village.
The young Garbald couple commissioned the famous architect and professor at the Zürich Polytechnic, Gottfried Semper (1803-1879), to build their villa. Mr. Garbald was a customs' officer and Mrs. Garbald was a young author.
The ruins of the late medieval house Casnàcc are the last witness of this fraction of Bondo, abandoned around 1600 as a permanent settlement.
The churches of Borgonovo and Coltura contain works by the artist Augusto Giacometti. Bondo's San Martino church has wonderfully restored 15th century frescoes. Near Promontogno stands the church of Nossa Dona, which contains the Castelmur family grave.
The Swiss Heimatschutz awarded the Municipality of Bergell the 2015 Wakker Prize for identifying the valuable existing building stock and the well-preserved man-made landscape as two important qualities of the municipality.