Bad Ragaz Tourist Attractions
Bad Ragaz, attractively situated in the Rhine valley at the mouth of the Tamina gorge, is one of Switzerland's leading spas. The warm radioactive springs (37 deg C-99 deg F), with a flow of 3,000 to 10,000liters/660 to 2,200gallons a minute, are used in the treatment of rheumatism, paralysis, metabolic disorders and injuries of all kinds. The springs rise in the Tamina gorge and the water has been piped down to Ragaz since 1840.
St Pancras Church
On the left bank of the Tamina stands the parish church (1703) of St Pancras with 18th C. ceiling paintings. In the churchyard is the grave of the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm von Schelling.
Freudenberg ruins (park)
Northwest of Bad Ragaz are the Freudenberg ruins which were destroyed in the 15th C. by the Confederates. Close by stands the St Leonhard chapel with an Italian style choir. To the north is the Giessen Park, with a lake.
Surrounding sights of Bad Ragaz include the little town of Sargans, Bad Pfäfers, Tamina gorge, Bad Valens, Wartenstein, Guschakopf and Pizol.
Sargans Castle (Museum)
8km/5mi to the northwest of Bad Ragaz is the little town of Sargans (482 m/1,581ft), its old town was completely destroyed by fire in 1811. The 19th C. Town Hall (Gallatihaus) is built in Classical style. The parish church of St Oswald and Cassian is of 18th C. origin, restored and extended in the 19th and 20th C.There are two interesting chapels in the hamlet of Vild - St Sebastian and St Maria. In Züricherstrasse (No. 5) there is an interesting private collection of cars, motorcycles and accessories. Sargans is dominated by the castle, former seat of the Counts of Werdenberg-Sargans.The castle was first documented in 1282 and was the official seat of the provincial governors until the end of the 18th C and is now a center for local history and scenic views.
From Bad Pfäfers long passages run down to Tamina gorge (500 m/1,641ft long), at the end of which is a narrow steam-filled gallery where the principal spring emerges from a deep chamber in the rock.In 1242 a gangway was constructed on the rock face, supported on projecting beams, and in about 1465 a chamber was excavated above the spring, from which patients were let down on ropes.
A road parallel to the Bad Pfäfers road runs west up the Rhine valley to the developing spa of Bad Valens (915 m/3,002ft).
Wartenstein (castle & hotel)
West of Ragaz, above the right bank of the Tamina, is the Guschakopf (751 m/2,464ft; 45 minutes), from which there is a fine view.
Southwest of Ragaz, Pizol (2,848 m/9,344ft) can be reached by way of a cableway (3.5km/2mi, 22 minutes) to Pardiel (1,630 m/5,348ft; mountain inn), from which a chairlift leads up to the Laufböden (2,222 m/7,290ft), near the Pizol hut (2,229 m/7,313ft; cableway from Wangs; first-rate ski trails).
Vättis - Drive from Ragaz
The driving tour from Ragaz to Vättis is 15km/9mi. The road winds its way up to the Wartenstein. 4km/2mi: Pfäfers (822m/2,697ft; several inns), with the former Benedictine monastery of St Pirminsberg (founded ca. 740, rebuilt 1672-93), now a cantonal home.The road continues along the east side of the deep Tamina valley, via Ragol and Vadura. 11km/7mi: Vättis (951 m/3,120ft), a quiet and beautifully situated summer resort under the west side of the towering Calanda (2,806 m/9,206ft). From here a very narrow road (excursions by minibus from Ragaz to St Martin, 1,350 m/4,429ft, beyond this jeeps only: information from Verkehrsverein, Vättis) runs west up the beautiful Calfeisental to the Alp Sardona (1,742 m/5,716ft; 12km/7mi), from which Piz Sardona (3,059 m/10,137ft) can be climbed (4.25 hours, with guide) by way of the Sardona hut (2,161 m/7,090ft).