|neighboring_municipalities= Arosa, Bergün/Bravuogn, Klosters-Serneus, Langwies, S-chanf, Susch |twintowns = } Davos (, ; or ; rm| ; archaic it|Tavate) is an Alpine resort town and a municipality in the Prättigau/Davos Region in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has a permanent population of (). Davos is located on the river Landwasser, in the Rhaetian Alps, between the Plessur and Albula Ranges. The municipality covers nearly the entire valley of the Landwasser, and the centre of population, economic activity, and administration is two adjacent villages: Davos Dorf () and Davos Platz (''Davos'' ''Place''), at above sea level. Gaining prominence in the 19th century as a mountain health resort, Davos is perhaps best known today for hosting the World Economic Forum—often referred to simply as "Davos"—an annual meeting of global political and corporate leaders. With a long history of winter sport, Davos also has one of Switzerland's largest ski resorts, and hosts the international Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament each December.


The current settlement of the Davos area began in the High Middle Ages with the immigration of Rhaeto-Romans. The village of Davos is first mentioned in 1213 as ''Tavaus''. From about 1280 the barons of Vaz allowed German-speaking Walser colonists to settle, and conceded them extensive self-administration rights, causing Davos to become the largest Walser settlement area in eastern Switzerland. Natives still speak a dialect that is atypical for Graubünden, showing similarities with German idioms of western parts of Switzerland, especially the Upper Valais. In 1436, the League of the Ten Jurisdictions was founded in Davos. From the middle of the 19th century, Davos modeled on Sokołowsko became a popular destination for the sick and ailing because the microclimate in the high valley was deemed excellent by doctors (initiated by Alexander Spengler) and recommended for lung disease patients. Robert Louis Stevenson, who suffered from tuberculosis, wintered in Davos in 1880 upon the recommendation of his Edinburgh physician Dr. George Balfour. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote an article about skiing in Davos in 1899. A sanatorium in Davos is also the inspiration for the Berghof Sanitorium in Thomas Mann's novel ''Der Zauberberg'' (''The Magic Mountain''). Between 1936 and 1938, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, then at the end of his life and living in Davos since 1917, depicted Davos and the Junkerboden. His painting has a both Romantic and pantheistic atmosphere and simplified formal structure. During the ''natural ice'' era of winter sports, Davos and the ''Davos Eisstadion'' were a mecca for speed skating. Many international championships were held here, and many world records were set, beginning with Peder Østlund who set four records in 1898. The only European Bandy Championship was held in the town in 1913. Subsequently, Davos became a ski resort, especially frequented by tourists from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. After peaking in the 1970s and 1980s, the city settled down as a leading but less high-profile tourist attraction.



The main village of Davos lies at the top of the narrow valley of the Landwasser at an altitude of , just below the Wolfgang Pass. Lake Davos is northeast of the village, formerly the source of the Landwasser. The municipality of Davos () has an area (as of the 2004/09 survey) of , including most of the Landwasser valley and its side valleys. Of this area, about 35.0% is used for agricultural purposes, while 22.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 2.3% is settled (buildings or roads) and 40.5% is unproductive land. In the 2004/09 survey a total of or about 1.2% of the total area was covered with buildings, an increase of over the 1985 amount. Over the same time period, the amount of recreational space in the municipality increased by and is now about 0.22% of the total area. Of the agricultural land, is fields and grasslands and consists of alpine grazing areas. Since 1985 the amount of agricultural land has decreased by . Over the same time period the amount of forested land has increased by . Rivers and lakes cover in the municipality.Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Regional portraits
accessed 27 October 2016
The Wolfgang Pass divides the waters flowing into the Landquart from the valley of the Landwasser, and has a year-round road and Rhaetian Railway connection. Crossing the pass leads to the village of Klosters and the Prättigau. Three long side valleys reach out to the south from the main valley of the Landwasser, one of which leads to the Flüela Pass and the Engadin beyond.

Political divisions

The municipality of Davos is divided completely into six ''Fraktionsgemeinden'': Davos Dorf, Davos Platz, Davos Frauenkirch, Davos Glaris, Davos Monstein, and Davos Wiesen. The names of the ''Fraktionsgemeinden'' correspond to their largest village within. Smaller populated places in the municipality are: the village of Davos Clavadel, the hamlets of Laret, Wolfgang, Obem See, Meierhof, Stilli, Bünda, and Spina (in the main Landwasser valley), and Tschuggen, Dörfji, In den Büelen, Hof, Teufi, Gadmen, Am Rin, Dürrboden, Sertig Dörfli, Oberalp, Inneralp (in the side valleys). Until 2017 the municipality was located in the Davos subdistrict of the Prättigau/Davos district; after 2017 it is part of the Prättigau/Davos Region. In terms of area, it was the largest municipality in Switzerland in 2009 after a municipal merger with Wiesen. Davos lost this distinction after the formation of Glarus Süd in 2010, and today is the 4th largest in the canton of Graubünden.


Davos has a subarctic climate (Köppen ''Dfc'') with an average of 124.7 days of precipitation per year and on average receives of precipitation. The wettest month is August during which time Davos receives an average of of precipitation. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 13.5 days. The month with the most days of precipitation is June, with an average of 13.6, but with only of precipitation. The driest month of the year is April with an average of of precipitation over 9.6 days, of which in 8.5 days are snowfall.



The Small Country Council (''Kleiner Landrat'') constitutes the executive government of the municipality of Davos and operates as a collegiate authority. It is composed of five councilors (german: Landrat/-rätin), each presiding over a department (''Departement'') comprising several bureaus. The president of the executive department acts as president of the municipality (''Landammann'' or ''Gemeindepräsident''). In the mandate period 2017–2020 (''Legislatur'') the Small Country Council is presided by ''Landammann'' Tarzisius Caviezel. Departmental tasks, coordination measures and implementation of laws decreed by the Grand Country Council are carried by the Small Country Council. The regular election of the municipal councils by any inhabitant valid to vote is held every four years. Any resident of the municipality of Davos allowed to vote and being registered can be elected as a member of the Small Country Council for a maximal period of twelve years. The delegates are selected by means of a system of ''Majorz''. The President is elected as such as well by a public election while the heads of the other departments are assigned by the collegiate. They usually meet once a week. , Davos's Small Country Council is made up of two members of FDP (FDP.The Liberals, of whom one is the president), one BDP (Conservative Democratic Party), one SP (Social Democratic Party), and one SVP (Swiss People's Party). The last regular elections (''Landschaftswahlen'') were held on 5 June 2016.


The Grand Country Council (''Grosser Landrat'') holds legislative power. It is made up of 17 members, with elections held every four years. The Grand Country Council decrees regulations and by-laws that are executed by the Small Country Council and the administration. The delegates are selected by means of a system of ''Majorz''. The sessions of the Grand Country Council are public. They usually meet ten times a year. Members of the Grand Country Council are not politicians by profession, and they are paid a fee based on their attendance. Any resident of Davos allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the Grand Country Council for a maximal period of twelve years. The last regular election of the Grand Country Council was held on 5 June 2016 for the mandate period (german: Legislatur) from January 2017 to December 2020. Currently the Grand Country Council consist of 7 The Liberals (FDP/PLR), 4 Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC), 2 members of the Social Democratic Party (SP/PS), and one each of the Conservative Democratic Party (BDP/PBD), Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP/PDC), Evangelical People's Party (EVP/PES), and one independent.

Federal elections

National Council

In the 2015 federal election the most popular party was the SVP with 30.0% of the votes. The next five parties were the FDP (20.4%), the BDP (15.8%), the SP (14.7%), the glp (12.1%), and CVP (5.2%). In the federal election, a total of 3,231 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 46.7%.

International relations

Sister and twin towns

None. Former relations have been cancelled since February 2010 by the council due to thorough austerity measures.



Davos has a population () of . , 27.0% of the population are resident foreign nationals. In 2015 7.3% of the population was born in Germany and 6.9% of the population was born in Portugal. Over the last four years (2010-2014) the population has changed at a rate of -0.27%. The birth rate in the municipality, in 2014, was 9.1, while the death rate was 8.2 per thousand residents. Most of the population () speaks German (86.3%), with Serbo-Croatian being second most common (2.8%) and Italian being third (2.7%).Swiss Federal Statistical Office
accessed 28-Oct-2009
, children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 17.3% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) are 64.5% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 18.2%. In 2015 there were 5,099 single residents, 4,666 people who were married or in a civil partnership, 550 widows or widowers and 794 divorced residents. In 2014 there were 5,441 private households in Davos with an average household size of 2.03 persons. Of the 2,133 inhabited buildings in the municipality, in 2000, about 30.7% were single family homes and 39.1% were multiple family buildings. Additionally, about 25.9% of the buildings were built before 1919, while 8.3% were built between 1991 and 2000.Swiss Federal Statistical Office STAT-TAB - Thema 09 - Bau- und Wohnungswesen
accessed 5 May 2016
In 2013 the rate of construction of new housing units per 1000 residents was 23.46. The vacancy rate for the municipality, , was 0.71%.

Historic population

The historic population is given in the following chart: Colors= id:lightgrey value:gray(0.9) id:darkgrey value:gray(0.8) ImageSize = width: auto height:200 barincrement:45 PlotArea = top:20 left:40 bottom:20 right:35 AlignBars = justify DateFormat = x.y Period = from:0 till:14000 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical AlignBars = justify ScaleMajor = gridcolor:darkgrey increment:2400 start:0 ScaleMinor = gridcolor:lightgrey increment:600 start:0 PlotData= color:yellowgreen width: 35 mark:(line,white) align:center bar:1850 from:start till:1680 text:"1,680" bar:1860 from:start till:1705 text:"1,705" bar:1870 from:start till:2002 text:"2,002" bar:1880 from:start till:2865 text:"2,865" bar:1888 from:start till:3891 text:"3,891" bar:1900 from:start till:8089 text:"8,089" bar:1910 from:start till:9905 text:"9,905" bar:1920 from:start till:9727 text:"9,727" bar:1930 from:start till:11164 text:"11,164" bar:1941 from:start till:9259 text:"9,259" bar:1950 from:start till:10433 text:"10,433" bar:1960 from:start till:9588 text:"9,588" bar:1970 from:start till:10238 text:"10,238" bar:1980 from:start till:10468 text:"10,468" bar:1990 from:start till:10957 text:"10,957" bar:2000 from:start till:11417 text:"11,417" bar:2010 from:start till:11237 text:"11,237" bar:2014 from:start till:11136 text:"11,136" bar:2015 from:start till:12624 text:"12,624"


In Davos about 74% of the population (ages 25–64) have completed either nonmandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either a university or a ''Fachhochschule'').


Davos is a tourist community and a regional center. , there were a total of 8,853 people employed in the municipality. Of these, a total of 203 people worked in 80 businesses in the primary economic sector. The secondary sector employed 996 workers in 145 separate businesses. Finally, the tertiary sector provided 7,654 jobs in 926 businesses. In 2014 a total of 5,211 employees worked in 908 small companies (less than 50 employees). There were 17 mid sized businesses with 2,074 employees and 1 large business which employed 369 people. In 2014 a total of 23.5% of the population received social assistance. In 2015 local hotels had a total of 797,348 overnight stays, of which 46.9% were international visitors.


From the , 5,321 residents (46.6% of the population) belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church while 3,950 residents (34.6%) are Roman Catholic. Of the rest of the population, there were 10 individuals (or about 0.09% of the population) who belong to the Christian Catholic faith, 439 individuals (3.85% of the population) who belonged to the Orthodox Church, 274 (2.40%) who belonged to another Christian church, 79 (0.69%) who were Muslim, 56 (0.49%) who belonged to another faith (not listed), and eight residents (0.07%) were Jewish. In addition, 832 residents (7.29%) belonged to no faith, were agnostic or atheist, and 448 individuals (3.92%) did not answer the question.Graubunden Population Statistics
accessed 21 September 2009


Davos's ice hockey team, HC Davos, plays in the National League (NL). Their home arena is the Vaillant Arena. In December of each year, the team and arena host the Spengler Cup, an international tournament first held in 1923. Besides cross-country skiing, offering some of pistes, Davos has the largest natural ice skating field in Europe. Bandy is occasionally played there. An international tournament, starting in 2014, has been organised. The 1913 European Bandy Championships in Davos is so far the only one of its kind. There are six main ski areas in winter, with a total of of slopes: * Parsenn / Gotschna which connects to the partner town of Klosters from Davos Dorf * Jakobshorn which can be reached from Davos Platz directly * Pischahorn which can be reached by frequently running buses into Flüela valley * Rinerhorn to start from Davos Glaris * Madrisahorn located in neighbouring Klosters * Schatzalp is privately owned by the Schatzalp Hotel and a specialty as a "decelerated" skiing area All areas offer summer transport as well on to the main peaks from mid May until end of October. The remote side valleys heading towards the Engadine area are worth long hikes towards the passes of Sertig or Scaletta Pass to reach, for example, Piz Kesch, an Ultra prominent peak. To the north there are no valleys but rather a direct one-day ascent to continue across a pass into the "Schanfigg" valley towards the rival resort of Arosa or even to continue to Lenzerheide in a two-day hike.


Davos is home to seven sites that are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance. These heritage sites include the Town Archives, the Kirchner Museum, the ''Grosses Jenatschhaus'' (a type of charity house known as a ''Pfrundhaus'') and the Forest Cemetery (''Waldfriedhof''). Several hotels and spas are also included on the list. The three hotels or former hotels are: ''Berghotel Schatzalp'', the former ''Grand Hotel Belvédère'', and the ''Zürcher Höhenklinik von R. Gaberel''. Davos hosts annual meetings of the World Economic Forum. The city was featured in an episode of ''Viva La Bam'', when cities around Europe were visited. On 14 March 2003, a festival called ''Winterjam'' was held in the city and bands such as Sum 41, Crazy Town, and Guano Apes performed during this event.


Davos is part of the rail network of the Rhaetian Railway (RhB). The RhB has two main stations in Davos: (northeast) and (southwest). Other stations in the municipality include and towards Klosters, and , , , and towards Filisur. The valley station Davos Dorf DKB of the funicular Parsennbahn to Weissfluhjoch (Parsenn) is in Davos Dorf, the one to Schatzalp, the station ''Davos Platz Schatzalpbahn'' in Davos Platz. Also in Davos Platz are the bottom stations of the cable car to the Jakobshorn, the station ''Davos Platz DKB'' (right next to the corresponding railway station), but also the one of the chair lift to ''Usser Isch'', namely the ''Davos Platz (Talstation Carjöl)''. The bottom station of the lift to Rinerhorn is right next to RhB station ''Davos Glaris''. The one (''Dörfji'') of the Pischa area in the side valley of the Flüela, reachable by bus. Local buses are operated by Verkehrsbetrieb der Landschaft Davos Gemeinde (vbd).


Davos has several research institutes: the AO Foundation focusing on trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), the World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC) and the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL).

Notable people

; The Arts * Valentin Bühler (1835–1912) citizen of Davos where he went to school, a lawyer, he wrote dictionaries about the local and Swiss dialects * Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889 in Davos – 1943) Swiss painter, sculptor, textile designer, architect and dancer * Dorothea Wieck (1908 in Davos – 1986) a German theatre and film actress * Juri Elperlin (1917 in Davos – 2015) writer and German-Russian translator * Ernst Haefliger (1919 in Davos – 2007) Swiss tenor * Eberhard W. Kornfeld (born 1923) art collector; made Honorary citizen of Davos in 2004 * Jürg Federspiel (1931–2007) Swiss writer, grew up in Davos * Thomas Hirschhorn (born 1957) Swiss artist, grew up in Davos * Marc Forster (born 1969) German and Swiss director and filmmaker, grew up in Davos made freeman of Davos in 2007 ; Politics, public service and business * Johannes Guler von Wyneck (1562 in Davos – 1637) Grisonian annalist, officer, and local official * Fortunat Sprecher von Bernegg (1585 in Davos – 1647) lawyer, Grisonian annalist and local official * Johann Luzius Isler (1810 in Davos – 1877) confectioner and gastronomy entrepreneur in Nevsky Prospect, St. Petersburg * Willem Jan Holsboer (1834–1898) a Dutch entrepreneur, sponsor of Davos as a health resort. His young wife died after 2 years in Davos due to TB. He stayed in Davos, remarried, and founded the Rhaetian Railway * Wilhelm Vischer (1895 in Davos – 1988) a Swiss pastor, theologian, Hebraist, Old Testament scholar and amateur Lied lyricist * Ursula Wyss (born 1973 in Davos) economist, Swiss National Councillor 1999–2013 and current Municipal Councilor of Bern ; Science & Medicine * Alexander Spengler (1827–1901) a German and Swiss physician, specialised in TB in Davos * Carl Rüedi (1848 in Davos – 1901) a Swiss pulmonologist, treated Robert Louis Stevenson * Lucius Spengler (1858 in Davos – 1923) Swiss physician, specialised in TB * Carl Spengler (1860 in Davos – 1937) Swiss physician, bacteriologist, inventor of immunotherapy with Spenglersan colloids. Also an ice hockey player from Davos, founded the Spengler Cup * Carl Dorno (1865 – 1942 in Davos) German researcher, lived in Davos from 1904, founded the ''Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium'' Davos, a predecessor of Academia Raetica in Davos * Walter Siegenthaler (1923 in Davos – 2010) Swiss physician, professor of internal medicine at Zurich University ; TB patients * Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) a Scottish novelist and travel writer, TB patient in Davos in the 1880s * Franz Holper (1862–1935) German painter and architect, lived in Davos 1901–1920 because of his TB * Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938 in Davos) German artist, TB patient, lived in Davos from 1917; namesake of the local art museum * Philipp Bauknecht (1884 – 1933 in Davos) German expressionist painter, TB patient from 1910 * Erwin Poeschel (1884–1965) German art historian, TB patient 1914/1915German Wiki, Erwin Poeschel * Harry Clarke (1889–1931 in Davos) an Irish stained-glass artist and book illustrator, TB patient from 1929, buried in Chur * Klabund (1890 – 1928 in Davos) aka ''Alfred Henschke'', German writer and painter, TB patient ; Sport * Fritz Kraatz (1906–1992) a Swiss ice hockey player, competed in the 1928 Winter Olympics * Paul Söllner (1911 in Davos – 1991) a German rower, competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics * Albert Künzler (1911 in Davos - ??) a Swiss ice hockey player, competed in the 1936 Winter Olympics * Andreas Däscher (born 1927 in Davos) a ski jumping athlete, competed at the 1956 Winter Olympics and developed the Daescher technique * Franz Berry (1938 in Davos – 2009) a Swiss ice hockey player, competed in the 1956 and 1964 Summer Olympics * Peter Frei (born 1946 in Davos) a Swiss former alpine skier, competed in the 1968 Winter Olympics * Nicolas Gilliard (born 1947 in Davos) a Swiss former swimmer, competed at the 1968 Summer Olympics * Paul Accola (born 1967 in Davos) former alpine skiing World Cup, overall champion * Martina Accola (born 1969, Davos) a Swiss former alpine skier, competed in the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics * Andrea Senteler (born 1977) a Swiss cross-country skier, competed in the 1998 Winter Olympics * Carmen Schäfer (born 1981 in Davos) a Swiss curler * Andres Ambühl (born 1983 in Davos) a Swiss professional ice hockey forward * Iouri Podladtchikov (born 1988) a Russian-born Swiss snowboarder, brought up in Davos, gold medallist at the 2014 Winter Olympics * Dino Wieser (born 1989 in Davos) a Swiss professional ice hockey forward * Stefanie Müller (born 1992 in Davos) a Swiss Alpine snowboarder, competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics * Claude-Curdin Paschoud (born 1994 in Davos) a Swiss professional ice hockey defenceman

See also

* Davos Man * Lake Davos * List of ski areas and resorts in Switzerland * Schwarzsee (Davos) * ''The Magic Mountain'' * World Economic Forum


Further reading


External links

Tourism information
* {{Authority control Category:Cities in Switzerland Category:Municipalities of Graubünden Category:Ski areas and resorts in Switzerland Category:Cultural property of national significance in Graubünden