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History in Leukerbad

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It has been long thought that the discovery of the mineral springs of Leukerbad and the settlement of its esidents go back only to the 13th century. This could however be rebutted with finds from recent times and we know now that Leukerbad was inhabited later than the 2nd century of our era.

Traces from the Celts into the 4th century before our era are found here. But of course, who else other than the Romans used the thermal springs. Their weakness for hot water, is confirmed by coins and other finds from the time of Vespasian and Diocletian in Leukerbad.

After the barbarian invasions in the 5th century Burgundians came to the valley in the 9th century and later the Alemanni came over the Gemmi pass. Today what has emerged are two different highly Alemannic language tribes in the Valais. Nevertheless, up until the Renaissance, a Franco-Provençal dialect was spoken in Leukerbad, which itself appeared in the 13th century in the city chronicles  under the name "Boez" as a hamlet of Leuk-Stadt .

Anno 1315 Leukerbad could finally be found as an independent municipality in documents. Even then there was mention of the hot springs. 1449 the construction of a mule track from Leuk to Leukerbad was officially registered, meanwhile in 1478 the rights to the springs and baths were handed to the Prince-bishop of Sion and two noble families of Leuk and Lucerne. From then on the first inns developed and the original name of place changed to the German „Baden“ originating  from the Latin „Balnea leucensia“ . 1484  Prince-Bishop Jost of Silenen gave the order for  the construction of the parish church.

As in 1501, the new Prince-Bishop of Valais and european politics savy Matthew Schiner acquired the rights to the baths and touted the location. on his travels throughout Europe, His early advertising was probably greatly helped by the descriptions of the thermal springs by Paracelsus, Sebastian Münster, Johannes Stumpf or Pitctorius. At this point the first major influx of tourists began and the German language prevailed.

Unfortunately, a number avalanches destroyed Leukerbads infrastructure throughout the 16th century, Nevertheless, neither residents nor the first tourists lost courage. It was rebuilt respectively.  The rights to the sources changed owners again and also the oldest hotel in Leukerbad was build which dates back to the end of this century. Namely, the "White House", then the "Maison Blanche" and now known as part of the Lindner Hotels Leukerbad.

With the independence from the Prince-Bishop of Sion, the position of the landed gentry weakened too. Which resulted in 1682, that the community of Leukerbad became the owner of Leukerbad thermal springs. In the Age of Enlightenment a geological publication about Leukerbad was published by the Russian scientist Mazomousky.  Albrecht von Haller also found his way through the Gemmi to do research for his book on Swiss Alpine Flora. Between 1739 and 1741, the Gemmiweg as we know it today was built from Leukerbad to the pass heights and can be considered far more comfortable than the former route. Although, the path may still remain terrifying for some. .

Illustrious guests were to be found in Leukerbad, among others in 1779 was Goethe who found the road to Leukerbad, 1877 Guy de Maupassant a year later, Mark Twain. Many others are not documented, but the guild of writers has certainly made the place well known.

Considering the construction of its infrastructure the 19th century proved to be very eventful in Leukerbad. In 1850  the first real navigable road to Leukerbad.  Earlier a stone wall for protection against avalanches was built , which resulted in the construction of several hotels. In 1889 the first Valais power plant was inaugurated, which provided electric light. Shortly thereafter, in 1896, the hotel and bath association founded the first hotel and spa hotel AG of Switzerland. From 1915 onwards Leuk-Leukerbad railway transported its first passengers to Leukerbad and operated until 1967.

1948 the first ski lift was constructed. But the two seasons (summer and winter) business really only functioned properly at the beginning of the 1960's. Later came the construction of the Gemmi cable car, the rheumatism clinic, and the first form of the Leukerbad Therme and finally the Torrent cable car. Thus began the first modern tourist boom.

The continuous expansion and maintenance of the infrastructure of the baths, the construction of the Alpentherme, the via ferrata on Daubenhorn or the observation deck on the Gemmi kept tourism alive. Guests have come for centuries to Leukerbad, be it because of the hot springs, the recreational facilities or earlier because of the connection through the Gemmi pass. It has been tourism, which stregthens Leukerbad's existance - then and now. More information about Leukerbad's history...

Leukerbad einst - Intro

 

Leukerbad einst im Winter

 

Die letzte Fahrt der Leuk-Leukerbad Bahn

 

Skifahren einst in Leukerbad

Контакты

Leukerbad tourism
Rathaus
CH-3954 Leukerbad
Tel. +41 27 472 71 71
info@leukerbad.ch

 

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