After flowing for a distance of 55 m., through the Engadine it leaves Swiss territory at Martinsbruck and enters Austria.
By rail from Zurich, and is the meeting-point of the routes from Italy over many Alpine passes (the Lukmanier, the Splugen, the San Bernardino) as well as from the Engadine (Albula, Julier), so that it is the centre of an active trade (particularly in wine from the Valtelline), though it possesses also a few local factories.
It adjoins part of present Switzerland (till 1652 the Lower Engadine was Tirolese, and not Swiss) and also the Austrian province of Voralberg; to the N.
In 1900 its population was 852,712 (all but wholly Romanist), of whom more than half were German-speaking, and many in the south Italian-speaking, while in certain side valleys of the Adige system the quaint old Ladin dialect, still surviving also in the Swiss Engadine, is the prevailing tongue; in the southern half of the region there are a few German-speaking among the Italian-speaking folk.
The lake of Thun, and those in the Upper Engadine, in the heart of the mountains, though these are naturally smaller in extent, while the true lakes of the High Alps are represented by the glacier lakes of the Marjelensee (near the Great Aletsch glacier) and those on the northern slope of the Col de Fenetre, between Aosta and the Val de Bagnes.
Bernina Alps (from the Maloja to the Reschen Scheideck and the Stelvio, south and east of the Val Bregaglia and of the Engadine and north of the Valtellina).
The gain of the Milanese in 18J9 by the future king of Italy (1861) meant that Italy then won the valley of Livigno (between the Upper Engadine and Bormio), which is the only important bit it holds on the nonItalian slope of the Alps, besides the county of Tenda (obtained in 1575, and not lost in 1860), with the heads of certain glens in the Maritime Alps, reserved in 1860 for reasons connected with hunting.
Thence past Campo Dolcino and Gallivaggio the descent is made to the ancient town of Chiavenna at the junction of the road from the upper Engadine over the Maloja Pass, and 17 m.
In the south the Germans come into contact with Rhaeto-Romans and Italians, the former inhabiting the valley of the Vorder-Rhein and the Engadine, while the latter have settled on the southern slopes of the Alps, and are continually advancing up the valley of the Adige.