The settlement of Samnaun
Samnaun is first mentioned in in 1089 in a document of the Lords of Tarasp who donated a number of estates and pastures to the Marienberg monastery in Vinschgau (South Tyrol). The owners of the monastery worked on the listed goods. This suggests that the soil here was probably cultivated before the turn of the millennium. These donations are recorded in two papal deeds of Honorius III (1220) and Innocent IV (1249).
It is therefore likely that people started settling in Samnaun before the year 1000. The name Samnaun itself tells you where these people came from: They reached the pristine and unspoiled valley from Ramosch and Vnà in the Lower Engadine via a crossing, the Fuorcla Maisas, which is almost 3000 metres above sea level. The Urbare (a medieval register of goods and duties of large estates) of Ulrich von Matsch from 1369, mentions estates in Summnaun. Mnaun refers to the village of Vnà. The word sum indicates that there are other estates beyond Vnà, that is, beyond the watershed. What may have motivated the farmers of the Lower Engadine region to move to this remote high valley?