Switzerland's lovely mountain village of Scuol is known today for its amazing ski opportunities and other incredible outdoor activities that are available throughout the year. It rounds out the perfect vacation experience with excellent restaurants, exciting festivals, relaxing thermal baths, fun tours, distinctive historical and architectural structures from throughout the centuries and luxurious accommodations. Read on to learn a little more about Scuol, then come enjoy everything that this exceptional mountain retreat has to offer.
The first mention of Scuol as an established town didn't surface until 1095, and it was called Schulles at that time. Nothing was heard about it again until a Renaissance-style structure in the town made history on June 8, 1897, as one of the very first addressed properties in all of the Swiss Alps. Though not much has been recorded about the history of Scuol, there are many historical and architectural structures present that represent several time periods. Several of these are listed as important Swiss heritage sites of national significance, and these are just a few of the most popular.
- The Chaste Site: Truly rich in history, the Chaste site boasts evidence of prehistoric times, a medieval fortress and an ancient church. There are an abundance of remains that showcase the presence of the Roman Empire, the Iron Age specifically in regards to the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture and the Bronze Age during the Melauner culture.
- Tarasp Castle: Standing high above the town at some 328 feet, the 11th century Tarasp Castle belonged to nearby Austria right up until 1803. Over the years, a great many battles were fought for the control of the castle, but it was never captured. By the time that the 18th century rolled around, the castle was the last piece of Austrian territory to be found in all of Switzerland.
- The Chasa Wieland Nr. 29: This unique structure was built around an impressive three-story medieval stone tower. In 1622, both the town of Scuol and this impressive tower were burned during the Bundner Wirren, a conflict that went on from 1618 to 1639. In 1753, a farmhouse was built on this site, and it was constructed with many of the remains of the tower, which include the over 3-foot thick walls and many of the tower doors.
20th Century Name Changes
It seems that Scuol had trouble keeping its name throughout the years, and it was referred to as Schuls right up until 1943. At that time, it was christened with the unfortunate name of Bad Scuol/Schuls until the Schuls was dropped from the name in 1970. At last, it became Scuol in 1999, and it has held onto that name to this day.
This simple mountain village began to grow with the opening of its train station in 1913, and the addition of the Motta Naluns ski area in 1956 opened Scuol to the world and began to draw those interested in skiing and other winter sporting activities. Things only got better with the opening of the Engadin Bad Scuol, a popular wellness center that is based on the healing properties of the area's natural thermal springs, in 1993, and it became even easier to visit Scuol from Zurich with the construction of the Vereina tunnel in 1999. Scuol has even expanded recently with the merger of the neighboring villages of Sent, Ftan, Tarasp, Guarda and Ardez on January 1, 2015.
Speaking the Language
Those visiting Scuol won't have any trouble finding those who speak English at the many sites that cater to tourists, but about half of the local population still speak the old language of Rhaeto-Romance. Also known as Romansh, this is only one of the four languages that Switzerland recognizes as a national language, and the roots of this language reach all the way back to the Middle Ages. Because Scuol's population of some 4,638 residents include several foreign nationals, you'll also notice that quite a few residents speak German and a few speak Italian.