Poschiavo is a municipality
Municipalities of Switzerland
Communes , also known as municipalities, are the smallest government division in Switzerland, numbering 2,596 . While many have a population of a few hundred citizens, the largest cities such as Zürich or Geneva also have the legal status of municipalities...

 in the district of Bernina
Bernina (district)
Bernina District is an administrative district in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has an area of 237.2 km² and has a population of ....

 in the canton
Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848...

 of Graubünden
Graubünden or Grisons is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland. The canton shares borders with the cantons of Ticino, Uri, Glarus and St. Gallen and international borders with Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein...

 in Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....



Poschiavo is first mentioned in 824 as in Postclave though this comes from a later copy of the original document.. In 1140 it was mentioned as de Pusclauio. It was formerly known by the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 name of Puschlav.


Poschiavo has an area, , of 191 km² (73.7 sq mi). Of this area, 19.8% is used for agricultural purposes, while 32.1% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 1.8% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (46.2%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).

The municipality is located in the Poschiavo sub-district of the Bernina district. It is located in the Val Poschiavo, one of the four valleys of the Italian Graubünden
Italian Graubünden
The Italian Graubünden or Italian Grigioni is the region of the Canton of Graubünden, Switzerland where Italian and the related Lombard are spoken....

, where the official language is Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

. The other valleys are Val Bregaglia
Val Bregaglia
The Val Bregaglia or Bergell Tal is an alpine valley of Switzerland and Italy at the base of which runs the river Mera River...

, Mesolcina and Calanca. It consists of the village of Poschiavo and numerous hamlets
Hamlet (place)
A hamlet is usually a rural settlement which is too small to be considered a village, though sometimes the word is used for a different sort of community. Historically, when a hamlet became large enough to justify building a church, it was then classified as a village...


Poschiavo has its own lake, called Lago di Poschiavo
Lago di Poschiavo
Lago di Poschiavo is a natural lake in the Poschiavo valley in the canton of Grisons, Switzerland. The lake with a volume of 120 mio m³ is used as a reservoir....

, which is located to the south of the village.


Poschiavo's only connection to Engadin
The Engadin or Engadine is a long valley in the Swiss Alps located in the canton of Graubünden in southeast Switzerland. It follows the route of the Inn River from its headwaters at Maloja Pass running northeast until the Inn flows into Austria one hundred kilometers downstream...

 is the Bernina Pass
Bernina Pass
The Bernina Pass is a high mountain pass in the Bernina Range of the Alps, in the canton of Graubünden in eastern Switzerland. It connects the famous resort town of St. Moritz in the Engadin valley with the Italian-speaking Val Poschiavo, which ends in the Italian town of Tirano in Valtellina....

. The town is connected by a road and a Rhätische Bahn (RhB
The Rhaetian Railway is a Swiss transport company, owning the largest network of all the private railways in Switzerland. The company operates most of the railways in the Swiss canton of Graubünden as the Swiss federal railway company SBB-CFF-FFS extend only a few kilometres over the cantonal...

) station
Poschiavo (Rhaetian Railway station)
Poschiavo is a station on the Bernina Railway line. Hourly services operate on this line.-Rhaetian Railway services:*R5 - 1tph...

 on the Bernina Railway
Bernina Railway
The Bernina Railway is a single track metre gauge railway line forming part of the Rhaetian Railway . It links the spa resort of St. Moritz, in the Canton of Graubünden, Switzerland, with the town of Tirano, in the Province of Sondrio, Italy, via the Bernina Pass...

 between St. Moritz
St. Moritz (Rhaetian Railway station)
St. Moritz is a railway station in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It is the southern terminus of the Albula Railway line from Chur. Hourly services operate on this section of the line. There is also an hourly service on the Bernina Railway line from St. Moritz to Tirano, Italy...

 and Tirano
Tirano (Rhaetian Railway station)
Tirano is one of two stations in Tirano, Italy. It is the southern terminus of the metre gauge Bernina Railway line from St. Moritz. Hourly services operate on this line.-Rhaetian Railway services:*R5 - 1tph-See also:...



Poschiavo has a population (as of ) of . , 8.2% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has decreased at a rate of -3.6%.

, the gender distribution of the population was 49.1% male and 50.9% female. The age distribution, , in Poschiavo is; 332 people or 10.3% of the population are between 0 to 9 years old. 222 people or 6.9% are 10 to 14, and 122 people or 3.8% are 15 to 19. Of the adult population, 300 people or 9.3% of the population are between 20 to 29 years old. 433 people or 13.4% are 30 to 39, 413 people or 12.8% are 40 to 49, and 422 people or 13.1% are 50 to 59. The senior population distribution is 389 people or 12.1% of the population are between 60 to 69 years old, 362 people or 11.2% are 70 to 79, there are 197 people or 6.1% who are 80 to 89, and there are 33 people or 1.0% who are 90 to 99.

In the 2007 federal election
Swiss federal election, 2007
Elections to the Swiss Federal Assembly, the federal parliament of Switzerland, were held on Sunday, 21 October 2007. In a few cantons, a second round of the elections to the Council of States was held on 11 November, 18 November, and 25 November 2007...

 the most popular party was the CVP
Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland
The Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland is a Christian democratic political party in Switzerland. It is the fourth-largest party in the National Council, with 31 seats, and the largest in the Council of States, with 15 seats. It has one seat, that of Doris Leuthard, on the Swiss...

 which received 32.2% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SVP
Swiss People's Party
The Swiss People's Party , also known as the Democratic Union of the Centre , is a conservative political party in Switzerland. Chaired by Toni Brunner, but spearheaded by Christoph Blocher, the party is the largest party in the Federal Assembly, with 58 members of the National Council and 6 of...

 (27%), the SPS
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland
The Social Democratic Party of Switzerland is the largest centre-left political party in Switzerland....

 (26.8%) and the FDP
Free Democratic Party of Switzerland
The Free Democratic Party was a classical liberal political party in Switzerland. It was one of the major parties in Switzerland until its merger with the smaller classical liberal Liberal Party, to form FDP.The Liberals on 1 January 2009....


In Poschiavo about 69.3% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule
A Fachhochschule or University of Applied Sciences is a German type of tertiary education institution, sometimes specialized in certain topical areas . Fachhochschulen were founded in Germany and later adopted by Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Greece...


Poschiavo has an unemployment rate of 1.21%. , there were 252 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 90 businesses involved in this sector. 456 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 60 businesses in this sector. 1,073 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 164 businesses in this sector.

From the , 2,774 or 86.0% are Roman Catholic, while 283 or 8.8% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church
Swiss Reformed Church
The Reformed branch of Protestantism in Switzerland was started in Zürich by Huldrych Zwingli and spread within a few years to Basel , Bern , St...

. Of the rest of the population, there are 9 individuals (or about 0.28% of the population) who belong to the Christian Catholic
Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland
The Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland is the Swiss member church of the Union of Utrecht, also known as Old Catholic Church, originally founded by the jansenists, with a later influx of discontented Catholics following their disappointment with the First Vatican Council. It has 14,000...

 faith,, and there are 14 individuals (or about 0.43% of the population) who belong to another Christian church. There are 2 individuals (or about 0.06% of the population) who belong to another church (not listed on the census), 36 (or about 1.12% of the population) belong to no church, are agnostic
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

 or atheist
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

, and 107 individuals (or about 3.32% of the population) did not answer the question.

The historical population is given in the following table:
Year Inhabitants
1850 2888
1860 2742
1870 2890
1900 3102
1910 3676
1950 4034
1980 3294
2000 3225
2005 3487


Most of the population speaks Italian as native language (90.4%), with German being second most common (7.9%) and French being third (0.7%).
Languages in Poschiavo
Languages Census 1980 Census 1990 Census 2000
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
German 208 6.31 % 255 8.02 % 255 7.91 %
Romansh  24 0.73 % 22 0.69 % 14 0.43 %
Italian 3028 91.92 % 2858 89.93 % 2917 90.45 %
Population 3294 100 % 3178 100 % 3225 100 %

Heritage sites of national significance

There are ten buildings in Poschiavo that are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance
Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance
The Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance is a register of some 8,300 items of cultural property in Switzerland...

. Three churches and a chapel are listed; S. Maria Assunta, S. Vittore, S. Carlo Borromeo and Vecchio Monastero con cappella monastica di S. Maria Presentata. There are three houses that are on the list; Casa Tomé, Devon House, and Li Curt House. Finally, there are three buildings now used as museums; Mulino di Aino, Palazzo De Bassus Mengotti, Palazzo Dorizzi.

Casa Tomé is now the Poschiavo town museum. It is an excellent example of the traditional architecture of the Val Poschiavo. During the middle ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 it was built as a tower house
Tower house
A tower house is a particular type of stone structure, built for defensive purposes as well as habitation.-History:Tower houses began to appear in the Middle Ages, especially in mountain or limited access areas, in order to command and defend strategic points with reduced forces...

. By 1450 it had reached its current exterior appearance. While it was built in the village center, it had a structure that more closely matched nearby farm houses. Today it houses a museum and houses classes and discussions on traditional farming and food production techniques.

The Mulino di Aino presents several pre-industrial trades. This working museum shows how flour was produced from grain, boards from timber and horseshoe
A horseshoe, is a fabricated product, normally made of metal, although sometimes made partially or wholly of modern synthetic materials, designed to protect a horse's hoof from wear and tear. Shoes are attached on the palmar surface of the hooves, usually nailed through the insensitive hoof wall...

s from iron. The baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 Palazzo De Bassus-Mengotti was built in 1655 and expanded over the following centuries. Today it houses a museum. The ground floor houses a collection of farm implements. The first floor is used for temporary exhibits, currently it houses a collection of paintings by the local artist Fernando Lardelli. The second floor contains exhibits showing everyday life in the valley and emigration from the valley. The Palazzo Dorizzi houses pieces collected by Christen and Dorizzi (from Basel and Puschlav respectively) in India during 1947-57.


Poschiavo has an average of 99.3 days of rain per year and on average receives 1008 mm (39.7 in) of precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

. The wettest month is May during which time Poschiavo receives an average of 114 mm (4.5 in) of precipitation. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 11.7 days. The driest month of the year is February with an average of 41 mm (1.6 in) of precipitation over 11.7 days.

External links

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