The picturesque Lower Engadin village of Sent enjoys a sunny location with wonderful views high above the valley floor, amid broad expanses of agricultural land and forest. The village currently has about 900 inhabitants and is a Rhaeto-Romanic stronghold.
Sent's overall appearance is characterised largely by the emigration that has played a key economic role here since the 17th century. As in many mountain regions, many natives of Sent emigrated abroad, particularly to Italy. Some of these made their fortunes as mercenaries, confectioners or tradespeople, building impressive houses in their home village. The builders showcased their wealth in elegant houses with classical forms and striking tent roofs. This is also behind the emergence of the “Senter-Giebel”, a curved central gable that adorns many of these stately houses. This local feature characterises the appearance of the village, but some also appear occasionally in other villages within the region.
Most “Senter-Giebels” and the vast majority of the prestigious houses date back to the period after 1823, when large parts of the village had to be rebuilt following a devastating fire. Indeed, Sent suffered several village fires over time. These catastrophic fires also explain why the village only contains a small number of traditional Engadin farmhouses, known for their small, funnel-shaped houses and their facades, decorated using the sgraffito technique.
Today, dense rows of farmhouses townhouses line the narrow network of streets, with multiple main laneways and squares. The village square at the centre of the village, with its splendid fountain, is particularly impressive. A few typical Engadin farmhouses, which emerged unscathed from the various village fires, can be seen at the edges of the village. The late Gothic village church of San Lurench can be seen from afar. The striking ruin of the church of San Peder can be found at the west end of the village and is the true symbol of the village. In nearby Sur En, a small hamlet below Sent, you will also find a 60.5-metre long covered wooden bridge dating from 1868. This bridge is the longest wooden bridge still standing in Graubünden.
ISOS is the Federal Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites of national importance. The inventory is maintained by the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) and lists the most significant settlements in Switzerland. Today, some 1,200 places are included in the inventory, from hamlets right through to cities. The inventory provides information on the development and identity of the settlements listed in it, thereby contributing to the preservation of architectural diversity in Switzerland and promoting both sustainable planning and a high-quality Baukultur.