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|Kanton Graubünden |
Cantone dei Grigioni
|- Density||27 /km² (69 /sq mi)|
|Area||7,105 km² (2,743 sq mi)|
|Highest point||4,049 m (13,284 ft) - Piz Bernina|
|Lowest point||260 m (853 ft) - border to Ticino at San Vittore|
|Languages||German, Romansh, Italian|
|Executive||Regierungsrat, Regenza, Governo (5)|
|Legislative||Grosser Rat, Cussegl Grond, Gran Consiglio (120)|
|Districts||11 Bezirke, District, Distretto|
|View map of Graubünden|
Graubünden or Grisons (German: Graubünden, [ɡʁaʊˈbʏndən] (help·info); Italian: Grigioni [ɡɾiˈdʒoni]; Romansh: Grischun [ɡɾiˈʒun]; see also other names) is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland. The canton shares international borders with Italy (Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol and Lombardy), Austria (Vorarlberg) and Liechtenstein. The name Graubünden translates as the "Grey Leagues," referring to the canton's origin in three local alliances, the League of God's House, the Grey League, and the League of Ten Jurisdictions. Graubünden is also home to three of Switzerland's ethnic groups and the subsequent languages of Swiss German, Italian and Romansh are all native to the province. It is also the only canton where the ancient Romansh dialects are still spoken.
Most of the lands of the canton were once part of a Roman province called Raetia which was established in 15 BC. The current capital of Graubünden, Chur was known as Curia in Roman times. The area later was part of the lands of the diocese at Chur.
In 1367 the League of God's House (Cadi, Gottes Haus, Ca' di Dio), was founded to resist the rising power of the Bishop of Chur. This was followed by the establishment of the Grey League (Grauer Bund), sometimes called Oberbund, in 1395 in the Upper Rhine valley. The name Grey League is derived from the homespun grey clothes worn by the people and was used exclusively after March 16, 1424. The name of this league later gave its name to the canton of Graubünden. A third league was established in 1436 by the people of ten bailiwicks in the former Toggenburg countship, as the dynasty of Toggenburg had become extinct. The league was called League of the Ten Jurisdictions (Zehngerichtebund).
The first step towards the canton of Graubünden was when the league of the Ten Jurisdictions allied with the League of God's House in 1450. In 1471 the two leagues allied with the Grey League. In 1497 and 1498 the Leagues allied with the Old Swiss Confederacy after the Habsburgs acquired the possessions of the extinct Toggenburg dynasty in 1496, siding with the Confederacy in the Swabian War three years later. The Habsburgs were defeated at Calven Gorge and Dornach, helping the Swiss Confederation and the allied leagues of the canton of Grisons to be recognised. However the Three Leagues remained a loose association until the Bundesbrief of September 23, 1524.
The last traces of the Bishop of Chur's jurisdiction were abolished in 1526. The Musso war of 1520 drove the Three Leagues closer to the Swiss Confederacy. In 1798, the lands of the canton of Graubünden became part of the Helvetic Republic as the Canton of Raetia. With the Act of Mediation the "perpetual ally" of Switzerland became a canton in 1803. The constitution of the canton dates from 1892. In the following century, there have been about 30 changes made to the constitution.
The arms of the three original leagues are now all part of the coat of arms of the canton.
The area of the canton is 7,105.2 square kilometers (2,743.3 sq mi).. Only about a third of this is commonly regarded as productive land Forests cover about a fifth of the total area. The canton is almost entirely mountainous, comprising the highlands of the Rhine and Inn river valleys. Many of its scenic areas are part of the Swiss National Park or the Ela Nature Park. Additionally, the some of the mountains were formed as part of the thrust fault that was declared a geologic UNESCO world heritage site, under the name Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona, in 2008.
The Inhabitants of Grisons are called grisonians.
There are many significant elevations in the Grison Alps, including the Tödi at 3,614 meters (11,857 ft) and the highest peak Piz Bernina at 4,049 meters (13,284 ft). Many of the mountain ranges feature extensive glaciers, such as at the Adula, the Albula, the Silvretta, the Bernina, the Bregaglia and the Rätikon ranges. The mountain ranges in the central area are very deep, some of which are considered the deepest valleys in Europe. These valleys were originally settled by the Raetians (Rhaeti).
The canton borders on Liechtenstein to the north, Austria to the north and the east, Italy to the south and southeast, and the cantons of St. Gallen to the northwest, Canton of Glarus, Uri to the west, and Ticino to the southwest. The capital city is Chur. The world-famous resorts of Davos, Klosters and St. Moritz are located in the canton, as are the towns of Arosa, Flims, Laax, Pontresina, Scuol and Sils.
The Grand Council (German: Grosse Rat; Italian: Gran Consiglio, Romansh: Cussegl Grond), the legislature of the canton, sits in Chur, the cantonal capital. Its 120 members, elected in 39 districts using a majority system, are in office for four years. The next district elections are scheduled for 2010. The cantonal government, exercising executive authority, is made up of five members, elected by the parliament for a term of four years and limited to two terms. The current President of Government is Hansjörg Trachsel.
The constitution of Graubünden, last revised on 14 September 2003, states in its preamble that the canton's purpose is to "safeguard freedom, peace, and human dignity, ensure democracy and the Rechtsstaat, promote prosperity and social justice and preserving a sane environment for the future generations, with the intention of promoting trilingualism and cultural variety and conserving them as part of our historical heritage".
The constitution allows for the enfranchisement of foreign residents at a municipal level, at discretion of the local governments. In 2009, the municipality of Bregaglia became the first in the canton to make use of this provision, granting voting rights to foreigners.
 Political subdivisions
Graubünden is divided into 11 districts:
- Albula with capital Tiefencastel
- Bernina with capital Poschiavo
- Hinterrhein with capital Thusis
- Imboden with capital Domat/Ems
- Inn with capital Scuol
- Landquart with capital Igis
- Maloja with capital Samedan
- Moesa with capital Roveredo
- Plessur with capital Chur
- Prättigau/Davos with capital Davos
- Surselva with capital Ilanz
The population of the canton (as of 31 December 2008) is 190,459. As of 2007[update], the population included 28,008 foreigners, or about 14.84% of the total population. The main religions are Catholicism and Protestantism. Both are well-represented in the canton, with Roman Catholics forming a slight plurality (47% Catholic to 41% Protestant).
Graubünden is the only canton of Switzerland with three official languages: German (a dialect of German referred to as Bündnerdeutsch) in the northwest (68%), Romansh in the Engadin and around Disentis/Mustér (15%), and Italian in the Italian Graubünden (10%) with the additional 7% speaking another language. Western Lombard is also spoken, primarily in the region of Val Poschiavo, though it has no official recognition.
Romansh is an umbrella term covering a group of closely-related dialects, spoken in southern Switzerland and all belonging to the Rhaeto-Romance language family. These dialects include Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran, Puter and Vallader. Romansh was nationally standardised in 1982 by Zürich-based linguist Heinrich Schmid. The standardised language, called Rumantsch Grischun, has been slowly accepted. Romansh has been recognized as one of four "national languages" by the Swiss Federal Constitution since 1938. It was also declared an "official language" of the Confederation in 1996, meaning that Romansh speakers may use Rumantsch Grischun for correspondence with the federal government and expect to receive a response in the same language. Romansh has a status of an official language at a cantonal level. Municipalities in turn are free to specify their own official languages.
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Agriculture and tourism are the pillars of the canton's economy. Agriculture includes forests and mountain pasturage in summer, particularly of sheep and goats. Tourism is concentrated in the mountains, particularly around the towns of Davos/Arosa, Laax and St. Moritz/Pontresina. There are, however, a great number of other tourist resorts in the canton.
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Public transport is provided by an integrated timetable of postbuses and the Rhaetian Railway, the largest narrow-gauge railway network in Switzerland, in which the cantonal government is the largest shareholder. The Swiss Federal Railways extend only a few kilometres into the canton, to the capital, Chur, where passengers transfer to the Rhaetian Railway. "Rhaetia" is the Latin name for the area.
The Graubünden are known for a dried-beef delicacy called Bündnerfleisch and for a nut and honey pie known as Bündner Nusstorte. Another specialty, predominantly made in the western part of Grison, is Capuns a hearty meal of meat, cheese and salad leaves.
 See also
- ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office, MS Excel document – Bilanz der ständigen Wohnbevölkerung nach Kantonen, Bezirken und Gemeinden (German) accessed 14 March 2010
- ^ Grauer Bund in Romansh, German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- ^ Eidgenossenschaft - Konsolidierung und Erweiterung (1353-1515) in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- ^ Graubünden, section 3.1.4 - Landesherrschaft und Widerstand im Norden in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- ^ Graubünden, section 3.2.4 - Verfassung und Landesgesetze in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- ^ Graubünden, section 4.2.2-Von 1848 bis heute in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- ^ a b c Federal Department of Statistics (2008). "Regional Statistics for Graubünden". http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/regionen/regionalportraets/graubuenden/blank/kennzahlen.html. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
- ^ ""Der Grosse Rat" Parliament of the Canton Grisons". Portal of the Canton Grisons. http://www.gr.ch/EN/institutions/parliament/Seiten/Parlament.aspx. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- ^ "Government of the Canton Grisons". Portal of the Canton Grisons. http://www.gr.ch/EN/INSTITUTIONS/GOVERNMENT/Seiten/Regierung.aspx. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- ^ "Constitution of the canton of Graubünden" (in Italian and German). Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation. http://www.admin.ch/ch/i/rs/131_226/index.html. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- ^ "Comune Bregaglia accorda diritto di voto e di eleggibilità a stranieri domiciliati" (in Italian). swissinfo. 2009-05-17. http://www.swissinfo.ch/ita/prima_pagina.html?siteSect=105&ty=nd&ref=fb&sid=10708358. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- ^ "Répertoire officiel des communes de Suisse". Statistique Suisse. 2009-01-01. http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/fr/index/infothek/nomenklaturen/blank/blank/gem_liste/03.Document.90142.xls. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
- ^ Federal Department of Statistics (2008). "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeit, Geschlecht und Kantonen" (Microsoft Excel). http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/01/02/blank/key/raeumliche_verteilung/kantone__gemeinden.html. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
- ^ Federal Department of Statistics (2008). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion, nach Kantonen und Städten" (Microsoft Excel). http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/01/05/blank/key/religionen.html. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- ^ (German) (Italian)Canton of Graubünden Website accessed October 26, 2008
- ^ Capuns recipe
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Graubünden|
- Portal of the Canton Grisons – Official website
- Graubünden Tourism
- Official Statistics
- Graubünden in Romansh, German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.