Sanatorio Popolare Cantonale di Piotta


‘Sanatorio Popolare Cantonale di Piotta’ was built in July 1905 in the hills around the Swiss village Piotta. The sanatorium was built in a healthy climate and unspoiled nature far from the highly polluted industrial sites.

The sanatorium was originally named ‘Sanatorium del Gottardo’ and was founded by doctor Fabrizio Maffi. The tragic loss of two of his brothers on tuberculosis has persuaded him to fight the disease. The building with 76 hospital rooms was built at a height of 1150 meter above see level. The project is designed by the Milanese architect Diego Brioschi.


In 1906 the Sanatorium has some problems due to the friction between doctor Maffi and the management. As a result Maffi moves back to his birth country Italy. In 1910 the Sanatorium resumed its activity under a new medical direction. During the First World War the sanatorium was used as a military hospital. In 1919 the buildings are eventually left by the army and it is re-opened as a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1921. Now under the direction of Dr. Martino Allegrina, the new name is ‘Sanatorio Popolare Cantonale di Piotta’.

In May 1962 the patients were transferred to the Sanatorium of Agra. The sanatorium was left abandoned. Today the site is in a bad state. The elegant Jugenstill paintings on the building peels of the façade and gutters. The inside is totally trashed, a herd of goats is grazing the gardens around the sanatorium. I visited ‘Sanatorio Popolare Cantonale di Piotta’ in 2007.

Built 1905
Abandoned 1962
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