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29.03.2021 - The Arosa lettering is better known than its coat of arms. Nevertheless, some “Unterländer” (people living in the flatter areas of Switzerland) can draw it with their eyes closed. Who designed it? Another chapter of the series "Arosa in 100 stories".

Arosa Wappen

The Arosa emblem is younger than one might think. In 1932, the municipal chancellery commissioned Friedrich Pieth, the cantonal schoolteacher from Chur and historian of all cases to develop a coat of arms. He brought in more experts such as Professor Paul Ganz from Basel, president of the Swiss Heraldic Society. As the Arosa History Museum reports, Erwin Poeschel from Davos suggested a sun as symbol, J.U. Flütsch from Berne proposed a mountain which, based by a design from Ferdinand Zais, became an image of the Erzhorn mountain. The graphic designers P. Boesch from Berne and K. Schmid from Zurich were commissioned with the implementation in competition with each other. Boesch’s draft was approved by the municipal chancellery. With the municipal council resolution of 12th December 1934 and the municipal vote of 22nd February 1935, the emblem was adopted with 218 vs 81 votes.

The official description is: “In blue a silver mountain with two identical peaks shined upon by golden rays of sunshine.” As always, if the authority of interpretation is not absolutely regulated, two theories have developed around the Arosa emblem: for some, the two mountain peaks symbolize the Erzhorn mountain, for others, the double-pointed mountain has nothing to do with a real representation of the mountain range around Arosa. At least, there is agreement that it stands for the mountain community. Arosa as a winter- as well as a summer-vacation destination resort should be implied by the sun high up in a deep-blue sky on the emblem. The blue of the sky and the yellow of the sun also indicate that they belonged to the ten-courts alliance of that time. It is interesting to note however, that there is no silver summer mountain on any of the Arosa coat of arms, but always a snow-covered winter mountain.

Peter Röthlisberger

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