Davos (Romansh: Tavau, Italian: Tavate) is a municipality in the district of Prättigau/Davos in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland.
It is located on the Landwasser River.
Davos is famous as the host to the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF), an annual meeting of global political and business elites, which is often referred to as simply Davos. It is also known as a winter sports area, including serving as the site of the annual Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament, which is hosted by the HC Davos local hockey team.
The current settlement of the Davos area started back in High Middle Ages
with the immigration of Rhaeto-Romans
. Then from about 1280 the barons of Vaz
allowed (German speaking) Walser
colonists to settle down and conceded them extensive self-administration rights Davos became the largest Walser settlement area in eastern Switzerland Natives therefore still speak. In the "natural ice"
era of winter sports
, Davos, and the Davos Eisstadion
was a mecca for speed skating
. Many international championships were held here, and many world records were set, beginning with Peder Østlund
who set four records in 1898. A dialect
that may seem a typical for Graubünden, rather showing similarities with (German) idioms of western parts of Switzerland is spoken, such as in Bernese Oberland
and the Upper Valais
1436, the League of the Ten Jurisdictions
was founded in Davos from the middle of the 18th century, Davos became a popular destination for the rich and ailing because the microclimate
in the high valley was deemed excellent by doctors and recommended for lung disease
patients. For example Robert Louis Stevenson
(who suffered from tuberculosis
wintered in Davos) in 1880 at the recommendation of his Edinburgh doctor, Dr. George Balfour. Arthur Conan Doyle
wrote an article about skiing in Davos in 1899. Davos is also the setting of Thomas Mann
's novel Der Zauberberg
(The Magic Mountain
), which takes place at a sanatorium
Subsequently, Davos did became a famous ski resort, especially with tourists from the United Kingdom and Holland. After a high peak in the 1970s and 1980s, the two-part city finally re-established itself as a leading, and less high-profile, tourist attraction.
The six main ski areas are:
English-speaking broadcast journalists covering the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting, along with many speakers at the meeting itself, commonly mispronounce the town's name by emphasizing the first syllable and shortening the o
to make the word rhyme with "moss
", i.e., DAH-voss
([ˈdaː·vɔs]). The correct pronunciation is dah-VOHS