This website uses electronic cookies for analysis and marketing purposes. You can find further information – but no real cookies, unfortunately – in our data protection policy.
I agree
Giardino Seerose
May 25, 2022
History St. Moritz

St. Moritz as a hot spot and important facts of its history

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

St. Moritz: that is winter sports in a class of its own, strolling in the village, cold, incredible nature, seeing and being seen, events, gourmet and luxury, sunshine galore, even in winter – oh we could continue this list forever. These 5 historical facts about St. Moritz you have probably never heard before. They will make you a real insider. Enjoy!

A first overview

“The Top of the World” – is the destination of St. Moritz with a location of 1,856 meters above sea level gladly titled. The town of St. Moritz is located in Switzerland in the canton of Graubünden and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Alpine metropolis is known worldwide for its local charm and a mix of modernity and culture, exuding a cosmopolitan ambiance. In addition, the rare language of Graubünden Romansh – also known as Rhaeto-Romanic or Romansh – is still spoken. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 0.5% of the permanent resident population spoke the language in 2020, and the trend is rather downward. Besides German, French, and Italian, this is the fourth national language of Switzerland. Last but not least, St. Moritz, with a population of about 5,200, also looks back on an exciting history with special historical facts and events. We have summarized five of these facts about St. Moritz for you.

Come with us on a little journey into the past:

Fact 1 – The source origin

Fact 2 – The birthplace of winter tourism

Fact 3 – An electric light is burning!

Fact 4 – Let the games begin!

Fact 5 – The sun is the trademark

Shot of Giardino Mountain from above in snowy surroundings

Our hotel from above – The destination around our hotel in St. Moritz is not only of breathtaking beauty but also has a lot of history to offer!

Fact 1 – The source origin

The destination became famous not, as one might think, because of its winter tourism. But originally because of its spa tradition and healing springs, which goes back a total of 3,500 years in history. Already the Celts built the first spring in 1411 before Christ, but only with the knowledge that sick people got well again. This was the “Mauritius Spring”, officially named in the 19th century, which is an iron-containing calcium-sodium-hydrogen carbonate acidulous spring. Already in the Middle Ages, St. Moritz was frequented by bathers and became famous worldwide due to the visit of the most famous doctor of his time. He rated the springs in St. Moritz among the best in Europe. Today only the Medical Therapy Center Spa St. Moritz reminds of this tradition. In the Forum Paracelsus, the history of the St. Moritz healing springs is vividly conveyed using listening stations and touch screens.

Bubbling water in the spa of the Hotel Giardino Mountain

The spa and healing springs – Have a long tradition in St. Moritz.

Fact 2 – The birthplace of winter tourism in Switzerland

Do you know how winter tourism originated in Switzerland? It all started in 1864 when summer tourism was already established with the healing springs. At that time, it was not popular to spend the winter in the mountains as well. There were many hoteliers who hosted guests from different destinations in the summer. One of them was the hotelier Johannes Badrutt. He was raving one day in summer to his British guests about how beautiful the destination was also in winter – with the sun, snow, and breathtaking landscapes. He told them they could sit in the sun on the terrace without a jacket. They did not believe him. So they made a bet. He invited them to come back in December of the same year. If he was wrong, he would pay the total cost of the trip. He was right, however. His guests arrived at the Julier Pass under a brilliant blue sky and stayed until Easter. This was the birth of winter tourism in Switzerland.

Skier skiing in the snow off the slopes of St. Moritz

Winter sports St. Moritz – The destination is also world-famous for this.

Fact 3 – An electric light is burning!

With the third historical fact, a light will dawn on you.  In 1978, the hotelier Johannes Badrutt and his son visited a world exhibition in Paris, where the first electric arc lamps were presented. These produced an even, bright light, and no regulation was needed anymore. Very impressed by the inventions of the exhibition, the hotelier returned to St. Moritz and had a hydroelectric power station built in the same year for a price of CHF 11,000 at the time. And so it was that on July 18, 1979, the first light in the form of electric carbon arc lamps shone throughout Switzerland at the Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz. The hotel guests were literally “bright” with excitement. Therefore, the place is also known for the fact that the first electric light found its way into Switzerland.

Light bulbs in different shapes hang down from a ceiling

The first electric light goes on – In Switzerland at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz on July 18, 1978.

Fact 4 – Let the games begin!

Did you know that the Winter Olympics took place twice in St. Moritz (1928 and 1948)? At that time, winter sports and St. Moritz as a winter sports destination once again gained enormous popularity throughout the world. The 1928 Winter Olympics were also the first-ever winter Olympic Games. There had been a “trial run” in Chamonix in 1924, but this only received the status afterward. Today, the Olympic Stadium in St. Moritz, which has been converted into a residential building, as well as the Olympic Bob Run St. Moritz-Celerina and the Olympic Stone are reminders of this time.

Mountains in winter near St. Moritz

Winter Olympics 1928 and 1948 – St. Moritz was the first destination for the Winter Olympics.

Fact 5 – The sun as a trademark

Attention sun fans! The destination St. Moritz offers about 322 sunny days a year and is called “sunny high valley” by the locals. So it’s no wonder that you get your money’s worth of sunshine in winter as well as in summer. It is therefore not without reason that the sun has been part of the trademark of St. Moritz since 1930. This makes the logo the oldest trademark used in the tourism sector that has been registered in the trademark register. Sunshine is (almost) guaranteed with every visit to the Hotel Giardino Mountain and the destination St. Moritz.

Family sitting in Hotel Giardino Mountain and enjoying the sun

On the sunny side of life – St. Moritz delights with approx. 322 sunny days a year!


Have you already known everything? Then you belong to the St. Moritz insiders! However, the historical town of St. Moritz offers you much more for your next trip, whether in winter or summer. By the way, the Hotel Giardino Mountain or the Giardino Bed & Breakfast are located exactly on the border between the municipalities of St. Moritz and Silvaplana. If you have any questions about the prices for individual activities in St. Moritz and their organization, please contact our concierge team. They will be happy to assist you in planning your stay.

You have not booked a room yet, or do you need support in realizing your ideas? Our team will be happy to help you with the realization of your wishes!

We are looking forward to meeting you! See you soon or “a revair” as they say in Rhaeto-Romanic in the Engadin!

Share this article now