Engadin Open Doors / Julierturm

We enjoyed and learned a lot from many architecture tours we joined as part of the Open House Zurich – Architecture for everyone. When we heard that a similar event is taking place in the Engadin, we were hooked right away, booked a hotel, and hopped on the train to the Engadin.

The first destination was Bever, a quaint little village where the owner of an old and protected Engadin house opened his door. His 17-century former farmer house  “Chesa Wazzau” was renovated with care and love, and each of its ten rooms is differently refurbished. Vaulted ceilings, rather uneven floors, a hidden narrow stair, a low ceiling room where Philippe cannot stand straight and other small details make this house charming. On the ground floor, a former horse stall is left untouched and creates a strong bond to the house’s history. It is great to hear that several traditional houses in Bever are financially supported by the Community.

After this wonderful tour by Mr. Küenzi of Chesa Wazzau, we visited a historical hotel, Chesa Salis, for a light lunch in the peaceful garden. This is one of those fantastic historical buildings which I admired during the Via Engadina hike. I was happy to revisit this hotel and enjoy it in a relaxed atmosphere.

During the first visit in Bever, someone recommended visiting the controversial Red Tower on the Julier Pass. We heard about that funky building high up in the mountains which holds all kind of high-end cultural events like ballet, concerts and contemporary dance. A quick check of the bus schedule confirmed that we will just make it up and down the mountain. From far we could see this 30-meter-high red building which stands at 2’300 m in the middle of rocky mountains. A very friendly and well informed staff explained a few things about the building and its purpose. There is a hanging circular stage that is lowered for performances. As the audience sits around that stage, which is a bit of an unusual setting, all shows are created specifically for this location. The setting is just incredible!

We spent the night at the Hotel Cervo in Sils Maria. In the evening we went for a small walk around the Chastè Peninsula in Lake Sils and enjoyed great quietness and beautiful light before sunset. I did the same walk next morning, while Philippe preferred to stay in bed longer and save his energy for the main hiking.

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