A report on Walser people

Distribution of Highest Alemannic dialects
Juf (Avers), at 2126 m above sea level, is the highest permanently inhabited settlement in Europe. This Walser village was established in 1292 a few kilometers upstream of the Latin Val Ferrera.
Flag of the Walser people
Walser settlements in northwestern Italy

The Walser people are the speakers of the Walser German dialects, a variety of Highest Alemannic.

- Walser people
Distribution of Highest Alemannic dialects

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Walser German

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Walser German (Walserdeutsch) and Walliser German (Walliserdeutsch, locally Wallisertiitsch) are a group of Highest Alemannic dialects spoken in parts of Switzerland (Valais, Ticino, Grisons), Italy (Piedmont, Aosta Valley), Liechtenstein (Triesenberg, Planken), and Austria (Vorarlberg).

Walser German (Walserdeutsch) and Walliser German (Walliserdeutsch, locally Wallisertiitsch) are a group of Highest Alemannic dialects spoken in parts of Switzerland (Valais, Ticino, Grisons), Italy (Piedmont, Aosta Valley), Liechtenstein (Triesenberg, Planken), and Austria (Vorarlberg).

Bilingual road signs (French - Töitschu) in Issime - Éischeme, Aosta Valley.

Usage of the terms Walser and Walliser has come to reflect a difference of geography, rather than language.

Liechtenstein

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German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland.

German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland.

Gutenberg Castle, Balzers, Liechtenstein
Vaduz Castle, overlooking the capital, is home to the Prince of Liechtenstein.
Johann I Joseph, Prince of Liechtenstein from 1805 to 1806 and 1814 to 1836, by Johann Baptist von Lampi the Elder. Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna
Franz I, Prince of Liechtenstein from 1929 to 1938
Administrative divisions of Liechtenstein, showing numerous exclaves
The centre of government in Vaduz
Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, as pictured by Erling Mandelmann in 1974
The Rhine: border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland (view towards the Swiss Alps)
Panorama of Vaduz, capital of Liechtenstein
Looking southward at Vaduz city centre
Since 1923, there has been no border control between Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Headquarters of Hilti Corporation in Schaan, Liechtenstein
St. Florin Catholic Cathedral in Vaduz
University of Liechtenstein
Balzers Heliport
Kunstmuseum (Liechtenstein Art Museum)
Liechtenstein National Museum
Marco Büchel, the first Liechtensteiner alpine skier to compete at six Winter Olympics
Liechtenstein Police
Maltese consulate in Schaan

In 1300 another Alemannic population—the Walsers, who originated in Valais—entered the region and settled; the mountain village of Triesenberg today preserves features of the Walser dialect.

Aerial view from 4000 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1919)

Vals, Switzerland

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Village and a municipality in the Surselva Region in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.

Village and a municipality in the Surselva Region in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.

Aerial view from 4000 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1919)
Walser house
Panorama of Vals
Zervreilasee
Valser building

In the 13th Century, the Walser were driven from the canton of Wallis in south-west Switzerland into the Valser valley.

Snow-covered, historic buildings in the center of the village

Bosco/Gurin

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Municipality in the district of Vallemaggia in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland.

Municipality in the district of Vallemaggia in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland.

Snow-covered, historic buildings in the center of the village
Settlement outside Bosco Gurin
Walserhaus

The village was started during Walser migration in the 13th century, with the first settlers arriving in 1244.

Highest Alemannic German

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Branch of Alemannic German and is often considered to be part of the German language, even though mutual intelligibility with Standard German and other non-Alemannic German dialects is very limited.

Branch of Alemannic German and is often considered to be part of the German language, even though mutual intelligibility with Standard German and other non-Alemannic German dialects is very limited.

Highest Alemannic dialects are spoken in alpine regions of Switzerland: In the Bernese Oberland, in the German-speaking parts of the Canton of Fribourg, in the Valais (see Walliser German) and in the Walser settlements (mostly in Switzerland, but also in Italy and in Austria; see Walser German).

View over the Rhine Valley from Meierhof

Obersaxen

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Former municipality in the district of Surselva in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.

Former municipality in the district of Surselva in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.

View over the Rhine Valley from Meierhof
Aerial view (1970)

The current settlement was founded in the thirteenth century, when a group of German-speaking Walser settled the plateau.

St. Martin, Graubünden

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Village and was a municipality in the district of Surselva in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.

Village and was a municipality in the district of Surselva in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.

The village was settled around the 14th Century by Walser immigrants.

Aerial view from 300 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1923)

Davos

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Alpine resort town and a municipality in the Prättigau/Davos Region in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland.

Alpine resort town and a municipality in the Prättigau/Davos Region in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland.

Aerial view from 300 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1923)
Davos, 1915
Bobsled team in Davos, 1910
View of Davos from paraglider looking southwest
Davos from the air looking north with Schatzalp and Parsenn ski areas
Davos with the Vaillant Arena (center).
The ice stadium, including the largest natural ice skating field in Europe
Park on the Promenade
The Kirchner Museum
Sophie Taeuber-Arp
Ursula Wyss, 2018
Carl Rüedi, c. 1885
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1893
Carmen Schäfer (right), 2010
Andres Ambühl, 2012

From about 1280 the barons of Vaz allowed German-speaking Walser colonists to settle and conceded them extensive self-administration rights.

Vorarlberg

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Westernmost state (Land) of Austria.

Westernmost state (Land) of Austria.

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"Confederates, help your brothers in peril!" Swiss poster of the Pro Vorarlberg (de) movement advocating for an accession of Vorarlberg, 1919
Mohren brewery in Dornbirn
Almabtrieb, the movement of cattle from the high pastures to the villages. This tradition is popular with tourists.
Vorderhopfreben/Üntschenspitze in Au-Schoppernau as an example for the agricultural use of the mountainous region
University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn
Panorama view of Stuben am Arlberg
The ski circuit Der Weiße Ring in Lech am Arlberg
Hiking in the Montafon valley
Traditional Käsespätzle served in a pan
Aerial view of the Lake Stage (Bregenzer Festspiele)
Open-air screening at the Alpinale short film festival (2020)
An open-air event of FAQ Bregenzerwald in Andelsbuch/Bezau (2020)
Bregenzerwälderhaus in Stübing
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The Montforthaus in Feldkirch is a public venue for cultural events
Werkraum Bregenzerwald: designed by Peter Zumthor, opened in 2013
Bregenz Forest tracht: girl in a white "juppe"
Woman fabricating a traditional juppe costume in Bezau (2007)
Women wearing Bregenz Forest costumes and "Schäohüte" (summer straw hats)
The inatura museum
Inside the vorarlberg museum
Jewish museum of Hohenems
Men's 400 metres race at the 2019 Hypo-Meeting in Götzis
Impression of the 2007 World Gymnaestrada in Vorarlberg
Ski cross skier in Damüls
Alemannic German language map
vorarlberg museum in Bregenz
alt=|Bregenzerwälderhaus in Schwarzenberg
alt=|Montafonerhaus in Partenen
alt=|Walserhaus in Vandans
alt=|Rheintalhaus in Rankweil

A sizable proportion of the population's ancestors came from the Swiss canton of Valais in migrations of "Walsers", including the Swiss French in the 19th century by invitation during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Aroser Weisshorn

Arosa

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Town and a municipality in the Plessur Region in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.

Town and a municipality in the Plessur Region in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.

Aroser Weisshorn
Aerial view from 1900 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1927)
Obersee
A RhB train travelling through Arosa
The railway station and cable car, by the Obersee
Langwieser Viaduct near Langwies
Horse racing on the frozen Obersee in winter
Carl Rüedi ca. 1885

After 1300 Arosa German-speaking Walser settlers came from Davos and replaced the original Romansh-speaking inhabitants.