The physician Ernst von Leyden started his career as a military doctor, before working as a professor at the universities of Königsberg, Strasbourg and Berlin. He carried out research in the fields of heart, kidney and spinal cord diseases, as well as in the fields of cancer and tuberculosis.
Professor von Leyden was a guest for many years at what was then Hotel Saratz, where he held surgeries for his patients. Friends built a memorial for him by the path to Lower Schafberg with the following inscription:
"I associate so many wonderful memories with the Engadin and with Pontresina, surrounded as it is by towering mountains. I never left without having found strength for body and mind in the clear, thin mountain air".
The inventor of the X-ray studied mechanical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich in 1865, before completing his studies as a physicist. Röntgen maintained his connection with Switzerland throughout his life, especially with Pontresina, where the Nobel Prize winner spent 43 consecutive summer holidays at Hotel Weisses Kreuz.
The Röntgen memorial is located on the footpath between the Spaniola tower and the Languard Alp. It incorporates a seating area and a commemorative plaque donated by the German Röntgen Association.
The Winterthur author, whose works were much read at the turn of the century, was a frequent and popular guest in the Engadin, especially in Pontresina. In his book "Streifzüge durch das Engadin" (Travels through the Engadin), he expressed his love for the high Alpine valley. In "König der Bernina" (King of the Bernina), his most popular novel, he portrayed the real and imputed demonic life of the famous chamois hunter, Gian Marchet Colani, against the backdrop of the development of the simple mountain village of Pontresina into a resort.
In 1952, Pontresina erected a memorial stone and bust made of Bernina granite near Montebello. The memorial square known as J.C. Heer-Platz is surrounded by Swiss stone pines and overlooked by the Piz Bernina, which the hero of the novel, Markus Paltram, tried in vain to climb.