Vals' legends and places of power

Dr füürig Riiter

In olden times, the Lampertschalp alp behind Zerveila belonged to the Walser people. But eventually the best alp in the valley was sold to the people of Ticino for the paltry sum of a thousand Gulden. An advocate from Bellenz is supposed to have written the bill of sale with an exact description of the conditions of purchase and information about the boundaries. It was supposedly expressly noted that the alp extends to a certain seven-edged rock on one side where a stony cross stood as a milestone and that it does not extend any further than to Horabach on the other side. – Two identical copies of this bill of sale were produced and each party received a copy.

The bill of sale for the Walser people was lost as a result of carelessness or deceit and the Ticino people in Blenio valley heard about this. They immediately forged their bill of sale by adding in "it extends as far on one side as on the other." When the "Plender" (Blenio valley people) crossed the Horabach with their cattle, the Walser people exercised their reciprocal rights, whereupon the Blenio valley people claimed that the purchased alp extends as far on both sides. That is what is documented in their bill of sale and there is no milestone at Horabach; as a Plender had actually thrown it into the stream. Now the matter was soon a fait accompli of course: there was no milestone and the Walser people did not have any documents. The process went in favour of the Blenio valley people. However, the villain that removed the milestone fell into a glacier crevasse soon afterwards. He had to ride on a fiery white horse, up and down the valley in all weathers to frighten the shepherds and their flock at night for a long time until he was banished to the Länta glacier where he had to wreak havoc for all eternity.

Ds Tüüfel Steina

Once long ago in the valley of Vals, the devil was struggling with an enormous boulder he hoped to use to destroy the newly built St. Niklaus Chapel. Along came a frail but wise old woman (Baabi) who distracted him with her female wiles and managed to scratch a cross into the boulder, The Devil had to drop the rock as it was getting too heavy for him to hold due to the cross. It crashed to the ground, breaking into a thousand pieces. The devil was so ashamed that he went back to hell and never returned to Vals again.

Hike to Teufelstein (Devil's Rock):
Vals- Camp- St. Niklaus- Tüfelstei- Heidboda- Camp- Vals 1½ hours

The legend of Teufelstein from Surcasti

When the inhabitants of Tersnaus wanted to build a chapel in honour of St. Katharina, the Devil supposedly climbed up the Con della Ritta mountain above Tersnaus out of jealousy in order to throw a huge boulder onto the chapel and crush it to the ground. The Prince of Darkness apparently missed his target due to a miracle and the boulder thundered down into the Glennerbach stream. Out of anger, the Devil then threw the rock quite a way up the opposite slope where it got stuck in some alder bushes. Finally, the Devil incarnate jumped onto the rock. This magical rock is still known today by the name of Crap della Gneida and is recognised as a cup and ring mark, it is considered to be a natural monument of the prehistoric Stone Age in the Grisons highlands.

Vals – Surcasti (postal bus service) – Crap della Gneida 1½ hours

Sogn Luregn / Surcasti river and place of power

The Sogn Luregn fortified church is situated on a spur 70 metres above the confluence of the Valser Rhine and the Glenner river. In addition to the two rivers, three other mountain streams converge here in a small space: energetic vibrations where five rivers meet.