|• Total||1,373.56 km2 (530.33 sq mi)|
|• Density||16/km2 (41/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Surselva Region has an area of 1,373.56 square kilometers (530.33 sq mi), with a population of 21,483 as of 31 December 2018.. It corresponds exactly to its predecessor, Surselva District, but the former subdistricts (Kreise) of Disentis, Ilanz, Lumnezia/Lugnez, Ruis and Safien have been abandoned.
Surselva ("above the forest") is the name of the valley of the Anterior Rhine in the local (Sursilvan) dialect of Romansh. The eponymous forest is that of the Flims rockslide; the region "below the forest" is Sutselva, where the Sutsilvan dialect used to be spoken.
The Surselva encompasses the valley of the Vorderrhein/Rein Anteriur (the Surselva) and all its side valleys, from the source near the Oberalp Pass all the way down towards Reichenau (where the Vorderrhein joins the Hinterrhein/Rein Posteriur to form the Alpine Rhine). The region ends before that confluence at the huge forest on the giant debris of Flims Rockslide that is responsible for the name of the region: The debris area lack of water and soil and were ever left as a big forest as it was useless for farming. This forest (romonsch: silva) is the border for "Sur-silva" (meaning "above the forest").
The Surselva is one of the few areas in Switzerland that is mainly Romansh-speaking (another notable valley being the Engadine, the valley of the Inn). There are a few German-speaking communities in the Surselva, e.g. Disentis/Mustér, with its Benedictine monastery, which dates back to 720, Obersaxen and Vals, which were founded in the thirteenth century by the Walser.
A long-distance hike is signposted to follow the full length of the main valley of the Anterior Rhine.
Surselva Region had 17 municipalities at the time of its formation. On 1 January 2018 the former municipalities of Andiast and Waltensburg/Vuorz merged into the municipality of Breil/Brigels, for a total of 15 municipalities.
(31 December 2018)
Romansh is the predominant language in the region, most of which speak the Sursilvan dialect. There is a large German-speaking minority in Surselva, notably the Walser settlements of Obersaxen and Vals. However, the percentage of Romansh-speakers is on the decline. Traditional Romansh-speaking cities such as Ilanz are losing ground to German.
|Languages of Surselva Region, GR|
- Swiss Federal Statistical Office – Amtliches Gemeindeverzeichnis der Schweiz – Mutationsmeldungen 2016 accessed 16 February 2017
- Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB, online database – Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit (in German) accessed 23 September 2019
- "85 Senda Sursilvana, Andermatt-Chur". Chur, Switzerland: Graubünden Ferien Schweiz. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen