|CHUR: THE OLDEST CITY IN SWITZERLAND|
Chur enjoys 322 days of sunshine a year, but it was a rainy day when we arrived.
There was still plenty to do here in the capital of the canton of Graubünden.
This historic and modern hub has many impressive buildings, including the headquarters of the Rhaetian Railway.
From the train station, It is a short walk past the shops and restaurants on Bahnhofstrasse to the Hotel Stern.
It is one of our
favorite Swiss hotels, owner-operated and and a documented inn since
Located in the historic Old Town, it has wood paneling that retains the scent of the forest, warm and welcoming service, and a classic Grisonian decor. It’s the perfect place to relax.
James Fenimore Cooper is but one of the notable guests.
We were pleased to have a dinner reservation since the hotel’s restaurant fills quickly with guests and locals.
Waitresses in dirndls serve scrumptious and artfully presented international and classic Swiss cuisine.
We opted for a salad with chanterelles, and bündnerfleisch, which included an air-dried beef, prosciutto from the Grisons, Engadine air-dried sausage, and alpine cheese. We also tried the Chur Councilman’s Plate--veal and beef filets with Gran Alpin bizzochels, braised apple, and dried pear, followed by ice cream, one with chestnuts and a warm caramel sauce, the other topped with dried plums marinated in plum brandy, each adorned with a cookie shaped like an ibex, the symbol of the canton.
On Saturdays regional farmers hold a
food market in the Old Town. There were cheeses and sausages, fruits,
vegetables, and breads--many organic-- and ideal makings of a picnic.
The colorfully painted historic homes were marked with dates of construction and renovations through the centuries.
|Busineses of all description had decorative ironwork signs, a remnant of an age when few could read.|
Feminist icon Angelika Kauffmann, born in Chur in 1741, was one of most popular painters of her time.
A plaque marks house at 57 Reichsgasse.
Many of her narrative paintings and portraits may be seen at the Museum of Art.
The Rhaetian Museum and Natural History Museum are also notable stops.
Chur was a Prince-Bishopric, ruled by the rich and powerful and endorsed by the Holy Roman Emperors.
With the Reformation, the people’s Catholic church, Kirche St. Martin became Protestant.
Its tower, once inhabited by a caretaker who sounded a
trumpet if he spotted a fire, has a clock second in size only to the
one in Zurich.
After the Reformation, the well-connected Prince-Bishop retained his walled 12th century “mini-Vatican” with its cathedral and palace, army, loyal followers and religious elite.
The Bishop of Chur continues to live in the palace and controls a diocese than includes Graubünden, central Switzerland, and Zurich.
Heidiland, named for the fictional
character in the popular novel by Swiss author Johanna Spyri, is nearby
with a Heidi-themed village and trails.
by Linda Fasteson
photography by Roger Fasteson
|All material including photography appearing on these pages is copyrighted and may be used only with written permission from Roger and Linda Fasteson.|