top of page



The foundation ( was initiated in 2007 by the Valendas Impuls association. Since its founding on September 4, 2004, it has been involved in targeted activities for the sustainable development of the small, financially weak Graubünden mountain village of Valendas, which, with its intact historical townscape and its attractive location in the heart of a landscape, hiking, cycling and canoeing paradise famous Rhine Gorge is unique.


The foundation was established on November 20, 2007 and started its work. It aims to contribute to the preservation and use of buildings and open spaces worth protecting and preserving in the mountain village of Valendas (municipality of Safiental) and thus to preserve and increase the cultural, social and economic well-being of Valendas and its people. It can also support cultural activities in the region in the interest of Valendas and its people.


The foundation has no profit purpose and does not strive for profit. The foundation's first project - as a self-help project of the small Graubünden mountain community of Valendas - aims at the repair and revitalization of the so-called «Engihuus», which is centrally located on the historic village square with Europe's largest wooden fountain.


The municipality donated the 500-year-old house to the foundation in 2009 on the condition that it also set up and operate a village restaurant and a medium-sized community hall. It is to be converted and expanded into a meeting point for the population and guests from near and far and to replace the existing small guest house opposite, which is no longer up to date.


The foundation wants to make the Engihuus a "meeting point" for locals and guests with a pub, restaurant, hall and seven very special hotel rooms as well as an information point for Valendas and the Rhine Gorge. As an appealing, regionally shaped inn, it should convey regional development impulses. This should be done in particular through:

increased added value for:

the villagers preservation and use of architectural monuments announcement of the unique landscape According to plan, the foundation was formally established on June 21, 2011 in Chur.

The entry in the commercial register was published on June 29, 2011 (SOGC No. 124 p.15).

Board of Trustees Martin Pfisterer, Dr.iur., President Valendas Foundation, Bern / Valendas Walter Marchion, Managing Director Valendas Foundation, Valendas Hansueli Baier, Hotel Consulting, Chur Sep Cathomas, Architect, National Council, President Region Surselva, Breil / Brigels Benedikt Bühler, former Mayor Valendas, Valendas Marc Woodtli, Product Manager Flims Laax Falera, Flims Hanspeter Brunner-Thöny, Farmer, Representative Agriculture, Valendas Hans Rudolf Luzi, Hotelier, Hotel Weisses Kreuz, Splügen Regula Ragettli, Housewife and Museum Guide, Valendas Ludmila Seifert, lic. phil. I, Managing Director of Bündner Heimatschutz, Chur



The Engihuus is located in the center of Valendas. The oldest part of the building is a small farmhouse with a brick fire house and a knitted living and sleeping area, which was dated to 1517 by dendrochronological examination. It forms the southern wing of the building complex oriented towards the fountain. At a later date, a mirror-image-like building was built in the north, which was connected to the original building by a central access wing. The gable facade of the house faces the Brunnenplatz, although from there there is only direct access to the former inn. The main entrance is on the axis of the central corridor and opens to the Kantonsstrasse.


In the west, a knitted construction with a loggia facing the fountain was added around 1674. The current appearance of the facades goes back to a reconstruction of the late 19th century.


What the house experienced during all this time is only partially preserved. It certainly served as a farmhouse, then as an "Stern" inn and as a village shop. The last owner was called Engi and gave the house its name "Engihuus", which was used until recently. Engi was the last Swiss post holder officially recorded in the official course book, who still brought the mail up to Dutjen with his team of horses. Newspaper report


The house stood empty for around 20 years and only contributed with its facade to the historic village of Valendas. In 2009, the municipality of Valendas donated the Engihuus to the Valendas Impuls Foundation on condition that the historic building be used in the interest of the village community. The Gasthaus am Brunnen is intended to help preserve work in the village and, together with the «fascinating Valendas Rhine Gorge» project, to generate direct added value for farmers, tourism providers, creative artists, local suppliers and creative minds.


The renowned Graubünden architect and ETH professor Gion A. Caminada could be won over for renovation and expansion. A stroke of luck for Valendas! It is important to him to redesign the house so that it meets the modern requirements of its future users and fits harmoniously into the context of the village center. With its architecture, what the foundation hopes for from the renovation becomes possible: the renovation of a house worth protecting and, at the same time, the creation of a lively meeting point in the village that brings together locals and friends of Valendas to form a powerful community.



Gion A. Caminada lives and works in Vrin, where he runs an architecture firm. Since 2010 he has also been a professor of architecture and design at the ETH in Zurich. Among others, great attention was paid to his works in his hometown Vrin, where he created the local and design planning, but also implemented several stables, apartment buildings and public buildings, including the funeral parlor near the church. Caminada has received several awards for his work, such as the Bündner Kulturpreis 2011.

bottom of page