How Davos became a health resort

In 1853, the German physician Alexander Spengler travelled to the Alpine town and discovered the curative and health-promoting properties of its microclimate. There are no house dust mites at this altitude (1560 m.a.s.l.), which makes it an ideal environment in which to treat lung complaints. More and more tuberculosis patients came to Davos, where they were prescribed so-called ‘reclining cures’. Sanatoriums, hotels and guesthouses were built and Davos attained worldwide fame as a climatic health resort.

The German writer Thomas Mann also visited his convalescing wife in the mountains. His acclaimed novel about life in a tuberculosis sanatorium, ‘The Magic Mountain’, was inspired by her letters and accounts.

Later on, the SIAF (Swiss Institute for Allergy and Asthma Research) was founded in Davos. Formerly concerned primarily with tuberculosis and lung complaints, the institute’s research now focuses on allergic illnesses.

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