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The Rhaetian Museum
The exhibition at the Graubünden Museum of History includes archaeological, cultural and folk art objects from all over Graubünden from pre-historic times, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Baroque periods through to the 19th and early 20th centuries.
This Baroque patrician house was built in 1675 by Baron Paul von Buol zu Strassberg und Rietberg (1634-1697). The jurist, historian and politician Peter Conradin von Planta-Zuoz (1815-1902) prompted the establishment of a foundation to promote the “Graubünden Museum of Science and Art”. On June 8, 1872, the museum with a library and a natural history and antiquity collection was opened.
Today’s permanent collection has been completely rearranged in recent years. The basement is dedicated the “Finds and Findings” of archaeology. The first floor deals with “Power and Politics”, the second with “Bread and Work” and the third with “Faith and Knowledge.”
The Protective buildings for Roman Excavations
Its conquest by the Romans 2,000 years ago is an important part of Chur’s history as a settlement. Findings dating back to this period are housed in these protective structures designed by star architect Peter Zumthor.
The protective buildings covering the archeological finds from Roman times were designed by Graubünden’s architect Peter Zumthor. They are a protective cover as well as a museum and a veritable architectural gem. The filigree lamellas of the buildings let the visitor guess the original extent of the Roman buildings.
Chur’s Old Town
In order to get an overall impression of Chur’s Old Town, it is best to walk up to the Bishop’s Court, cross this and thus reach Arosastrasse. From here the visitor can admire the profusion of roofs of the narrow terraced houses, over which protrudes the strangely crooked ridge of the Town Hall with its ridge turrets. Here and there the towers and parts of the old town walls can still be seen. On the way to the Bishop’s Court is the Rätische Museum in a baroque patrician house. In the historical rooms a great number of artistic and everyday requisites – not only from the Middle Ages – are displayed.
The old town often forms the backdrop for colourful markets – for example, every Saturday morning from May to October there is the weekly market (farmers’market) and on the first Saturday of the month there is the «Gänggelimarkt» (flea market) on Arcas Square, while the Christmas market at the end of November / beginning of December is a yearly highlight.
The Cathedral of Mary’s Ascension
The Cathedral of Mary’s Ascension is the focal point of Chur’s Bishop’s Court. This diocese dates back to late Roman times, making this the oldest still functioning bishopric north of the Alps.
During the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic church and its adherents were exiled within this court for 300 years, conducting their lives and worship entirely cut off from the rest of the city. In the 19th century more tolerant views prevailed. The cathedral itself was founded in 1151 and bears a mixture of architectural styles, primarily Romanesque. Its grey stone, called scalära, is a common building material throughout Graubünden.