In the Albula region of Switzerland lies the untouched and alpine village of Bergun. It’s at the foot of the Albula Pass, which serves as a gateway to the Engadine, a long high alpine valley in eastern Swiss Alps. Bergun, which lies at a height of 1376 meters, became famous in the 90s, thanks to the TV series “The Director” which was shot here. Prior to that, in 1952, the first Heidi film was shot in the neighboring village of Latsch.
Bergun is famous for maintaining the Albula Railway line even 100 years after its construction. It’s hard to miss this railway line when you are in this picturesque village. When in Bergun, you will be delighted to the Engadine houses with their graffitis, frescoes, and oriel windows. There is no way you will leave the place without being charmed by its vibe and surrounding vistas.
So, you are not planning to visit this lovely town? If you are, let us look at some of the striking places that are worth checking out:
Go sledging on the Preda-Bergun run
During the winter season, the little village of Bergun turns into a mecca for sledgers. Solo travellers, outdoor sports junkies, and families from all over the world flock to his place to indulge in some sledging. If you, too, would love to experience the fun of sledging on the Swiss Alps, you have picked the right place.
Head over to the train station at Bergun and ride to Preda. Upon reaching there, just follow the line of people carrying sledging equipment and soon you will reach the starting point. From there, you will take about 10 minutes to sledge down to Brugen. If you haven’t purchased a sledging day pass, you will need to go back to the train station and then get over to Preda again. You can keep repeating this till you are fully satisfied. The sledging slope is safe for children if you are planning to take them along. Just remember to put on the protective gear and learn the basics.
Learn about the history of Swiss rails at the Albula railway museum
Located on the world heritage site of Albula and Bergun is the famous railway museum. If you are visiting Brugen, you can’t come back without paying a visit to this place. Here, you can learn all about Swiss railway engineering and the history of the Albula railways. The museum has several video and audio stations where information is imparted in an interactive manner.
The Albula railway museum is overflowing with information pertaining to the history of the local railways and the people who helped build them. You will also be able to examine artifacts dating back to the olden times. There are relics of old railways and other parts that go into it. The best thing about this museum is that it tells a compelling story about the Albula railway line rather than just displaying artifacts. If you are a rail enthusiast, you will especially benefit from a trip to this place. Families travelling with kids will also have plenty of opportunities to have fun here.
Get a glimpse of the Bergun life at the Bravuogn Museum
When you are travelling to a place, it’s always a great idea to know about the culture and lifestyle of the local people living there. So, while in Brugen, you can learn a lot about the history and culture of the place at this museum. It is a smaller one compared to the Albula Railway Museum but it is equal parts fascinating. The museum consists of several rooms where old furniture and utensils are displayed. The ancient artifacts will help you imagine how the Brugen people lived their lives before the advent of modern household items. The museum is also home to a library where you can spend some time checking out a variety of books and magazines.
In the attic, though, there is large model of the Albula railway system, complete with all its bridges and tunnels. It is one of the most magnificent displays of the museum and generally attracts a lot of crowd.
This museum, however, isn’t open on all days. You should check out the timings before heading off to the place.
Spend some time amidst nature at Ela National Park
A few kilometers from Bergun, lies park Ela which spreads over an area of 548 kilometers. About one-third of this area comprises of untouched landscape. This part has the peaks of Piz Lunghin and the magical Alp Flix which is home to more than 2000 species of plants and animals. Park Ela is Switzerland’s largest natural park and lies right in the heart of Graubunden. It serves as the perfect meeting point for untouched landscapes, original villages, and the Rhaetian Railway which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The places holds immense cultural importance as several historic transportation routes pass through this area. It is also home to mighty fortresses and encompasses 19 authentic villages which still hold onto their old world charm. German, Rhaeto-Romanic, and Italian languages are widely spoken in this area. You can reach Park Ela via bus from Bergun.
Spend a night at Chamanna digl Kesch
Built in 1893 and maintained by the Swiss Alpine Club now, this hut has a modern infrastructure. It is located at 2625 meters at the foot of the Kesch Mountain and is capable of accommodating 92 people in its many bedrooms.
During the 19th century, the hut was a small residence but soon it started getting a lot of visitors and eventually had to be expanded. In the beginning of the 21st century, the architect Toni Sprig was assigned with the responsibility of developing a new building for the Kesch Hut. He used renewable energy technologies to keep the building running. There are photovoltaic surfaces that produce energy for the lights, freezers, and washing machines. Hot water is produced by the collectors places on the roof. The building has large windows which allows enough sunlight to seep in and keep the rooms warm and fresh. When the weather turns, a turbine linked to the water pipes provides energy to the hut.
This place attracts a lot of visitors mainly because it allows them the opportunity to spend a night or two in the mountains while also enjoying great hospitality. The rooms are airy, clean, and the beds have clean linen and duvets. The energy efficient installations make it possible for the visitors to have warm baths and also wash their clothes if needed.
You can arrive at Kesch Hut from Bergun. The journey takes approximately four and a half hours.
Hop on the Red Train
Can you really leave Bergun without experiencing the fun of travelling onboard the Albula Railways? If you have some time in hand, you can board the train from Thusis and go on to St. Moritz. In between, you will have the option to get down at Bergun and hike through the Ela National Park or pay a visit to the Albula Railway Museum.
The Albula Railway line is 62 km long and it passes through various helical tunnels and viaducts. The red train passing through the green landscapes makes it a sight to behold. No wonder it has been awarded with the UNESCO World Heritage site status. The train rises up to an altitude of 1000 metres during its journey.
You shouldn’t give riding along this route a miss if you are visiting Bergun and its surrounding places. Not only will you be a part of an iconic journey but you will also be able to enjoy panoramic views of the Swiss valleys.
Bergun is the perfect place for skiers, families with children, couples, and historians. It has a lot to offer, right from sightseeing to adventure sports. What’s more, the surrounding areas make for equally good and compelling visits.