Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl
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History

Over a century ago, the Muottas Muragl Railway rattled its way up the perilously steep mountainside for the first time. It had to overcome a distance of 2,201 metres and a gradient of 56% before it reached the summit at 2,456 metres above sea level. The journey quite literally took the passengers’ breath away – not least due to the spectacular panoramic scenery. Thanks to courageous pioneers, to this day we have been able to ascend to this “Seat of the Gods” without sweat on our brow or blisters on our feet and to enjoy la dolce vista.

But what actually happened between then and now? Muottas Muragl can look back on an eventful history:

1890 Chur engineer Robert Wildberger causes a stir with his idea of a mountain railway.
1904 Engineer Jos Englert draws up a project and the AG Drahtseilbahn Muottas Muragl is founded. A glance at the plans reveals the following statistics: project costs: CHF 800,000.-; capacity to transport 1,144 persons per day and direction in a 52-person cabin; operation in summer only, on six days a week for eight weeks; ticket prices: summit trip CHF 3.-, dogs CHF 1.-.
04.05.1905 Construction work begins! The hut material is transported up the mountainside by mule. The Italians among the 350 workers are put off by the early snow in September and threaten to leave.
Spring 1906 After building had stopped for winter, work finally gets under way once more. For a director, too, who now oversees the activities for an annual wage of CHF 4000.-, including an apartment and 50 hundredweight of coal.
February 1907 Simon Jenatsch, preserver of cultural heritage and descendant of the 17th century Swiss political leader, Jürg Jenatsch, carries out an attack on the railway. With a hammer, he destroys the braking device, but fortunately his attempt to set fire to it can be prevented.
09.08.1907 The maiden trip, after construction work is delayed by over a year. The funicular railway is the first mountain railway in Graubünden to make a mountain accessible as a vantage point. Actual building costs: CHF 1.2 million – 50% over budget! Train conductors are hired for a monthly wage of CHF 150.–, machine operators for CHF 175.–.
Winter 1908/09 After the summer season fails to generate much income, at the request of guests and the hotel trade, the railway also starts operating in winter and transports the first skiers up the mountain.
1920s After struggling to survive during the lean years of the First World War, the main and south façades of the hotel are renovated, giving rise to additional costs for painting, plumbing and roofing work. This marks the end of the large-scale capital expenditure in the 1920s, and the hotel now shines in new splendour.
1928–1935 With the construction of the Corviglia funicular railway and the Suvretta T-bar ski lift, the first rival transportation facilities arrive in the valley.
1939 The railway suffers a severe financial setback during the Second World War. Only thanks to the willingness of the staff to dispense with 25% of their wages is it possible to maintain a reduced operation.
1950s & 1960s The Engadin experiences a building boom for mountain railways! Piz Nair, Diavolezza, Marguns, Corvatsch and Lagalb all submit concession applications. The powers that be at the Muottas Muragl Railway fight in vain against building permission being granted to Piz Nair and Diavolezza.
Winter 1963/64 The first ski lift whirrs into action on Muottas Muragl.
Winter 1972 Capacity is increased thanks to the introduction of a second ski lift. Nevertheless, it is still difficult to compete with the other ski regions.
Autumn 1985 The railway track and funicular railway are completely overhauled.
1994 The creation of the Philosopher’s Trail enhances the range of attractions on offer.
1997 With its 4.2 km long toboggan run, the railway generates new business.
Summer 2007 100 years of the mountain railway! This milestone anniversary is celebrated with large-scale festivities, the publication of a book, and the unveiling of a sculpture entitled “Il Guot” (The Drop) by artist Timo Lindner.
2009/10 Conversion and complete renovation of the Berghotel Muottas Muragl.
18.12.2010 The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl opens its doors once again.
2011 Thanks to this forward-looking energy concept, the Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl has been presented with the Swiss Solar Award 2011, as well as a number of other highly renowned environmental and tourism awards.