The End of the Magic Mountain
The Alpine sanatorium that German author Thomas Mann immortalized in his novel The Magic Mountain is to close this month. Tuberculosis sufferers from across Europe used to flock to the Valbella Clinic in Davos, Switzerland, for the famously healthful climate. Although tuberculosis remains a problem, especially in Eastern Europe, antibiotics are considered a more effective cure these days, and health insurance companies have become reluctant to pay for patients to travel to the Swiss Alps. Clinic spokeswoman Maria Rieder says it was the sanatorium's south-facing view Mann writes about in the book.