St. Moritz leaning tower
Yes, there is a leaning tower in St. Moritz, too! It is located right in the centre of Dorf, and it is the only remaining part of the former Romanesque church which was built in the early 13th century. The tower still has the Romanesque lower part, but the upper floors were rebuilt in 1672. Over the years the pressure from the mountain above built up and the tower became a "leaning tower". In 1890 the bells had to be removed from the tower for stability reasons, in 1893 the nave of the church was completely deconstructed for safety reasons. Since 1902 several times construction works had to be done to stabilize the tower, the latest in 1983.
Around the leaning tower you can see some old gravestones from the former cemetery here and also some stones in lines marking the ground plan of the former church.
- Historical Travel
Pontresina ref. parish church San Niculò
Beside the old church Sta. Maria with its famous frescoes, which is used for burial services or similar nowadays only, Pontresina also has this reformed parish church on the main street for regular services, built about 1640 in early Baroque style. In 1720 it was damaged by a fire and it was reconstructed in even simpler style - typical for reformed churches.
As often in the reformed churches in the Engadine, the carved pews and pulpit, made of local Swiss-pine, are beautiful in their contrast to the white walls and make you feel right at home. Modern organ, which was built around the round stained-glass window in the wall - nice. The one coloured stained-glass windows depicts one of the Swiss reformers, not sure if it's Zwingli or Calvin or someone else, maybe a local guy.
Open during the day.
- Religious Travel
Val da Camp
This is one of my favourite places, unfortunately (or not) in a somewhat remote location - thus never crowded. It is a side valley of the Poschiavo valley, beyond the Bernina pass. Easiest is to drive over the Bernina pass to Sfazu, park the car there and take the mini bus (large van) up into the valley. There is also a bus connection from the train station Ospizio Bernina but that takes time and it's really infrequent. Make sure to reserve a seat in the mini bus (phone or got to either the post office or Engadin bus office). If you take the mini bus to the mountain hut Lungacqua this saves you a walk of about an hour on a gravel road (not open to private traffic) with an elevation difference of almost 400 m.
The valley is lush, green, with a few farm houses, grazing cows - absolutely picturesque! The surrounding mountains tower up about 1,000 to 1,500 m above the valley floor. Highlights are the lakes - the stunning Lake Saoseo (see pictures) only an easy 20 minutes walk from Lungacqua, Lake da Val Viola with even different amazing blue/turquoise colours an hour farther up.
Experienced hikers might follow the hiking path over the pass at the end of the valley into Italy (Livigno). The others (like yours truly) walk back to Sfazu - easy, with the Palü glacier in view from afar.
- Hiking and Walking
The Maloja - passroad
The Maloja - passroad is west of St. Moritz
and 1815 meters / 5955 feet above sealevel
When arriving in Maloja on the road from St. Moritz the road is totally flat there and you will be surprised when coming to the highest point of that passroad without any place to drive steeply uphill first. Obviously the road is going down steeply in the other direction,towards Chiavenna in Italy.
I did not go there, so I dont know for sure, but I did some walking in the village of Maloja before I drove back to St. Moritz and my favorite building was the hotel Schweitzerhof, built completely of wood and some houses covered by natural plates of stones like in my main photo.
- Road Trip
Viano & Alpe San Romerio
A mini bus takes you up (adventurous, lots of hairpin curves!) from Brusio in Poschiavo valley to the little village Viano which nestles high above the valley floor on a sunny terrace. A well marked hiking path leads you via Alpe San Romerio (restaurant, Romanesque church) to Le Prese or Poschiavo (5 hours) offering stunning views all the time.
- Hiking and Walking
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