Surlej - Switzerland

In 1965, a group of entrepreneurs wanted to transform Surlej, a hamlet of only 30 residents situated in the Upper Engadin lakes, into a town of 25,000 inhabitants.

When Swiss journalist Franz Weber, a fervent admirer of the region who was working in Paris at the time, heard of this outrageous, megalomaniac project, he sped back to Engadin, founded the "Pro Surlej" association and fought tooth and nail to snatch the most beautiful part of the 'most beautiful Alpine valley in the world' from the jaws of destruction. He succeeded in 1972, after a campaign on an international scale. Thanks to Franz Weber, not only Surlej but the whole region from Maloja to Saint Moritz was awarded special protection.