The protestant St. Martins Church is one of the top attractions in Chur.
You go there for the colorful windows inside.
They are rather modern.
The church organ is located behind the altar.
Once in a while - especially during the summer months - some concerts are taking place there.
If you ask in advanced, you can also go up the tower.
At just before 09.00am the Bernina Express, panoramic carriages and all, slowly drew out of Chur station making its way up the Albula Pass towards Pontresina near to the world famous ski resort of St Moritz. Operated by the Rhätische Bahn the Bernina Express provides passengers with a spectacular journey up and over the Alps.
The Albula pass is totally astonishing. The railway, built during the 18th century features numerous viaducts and tunnels that enable the train to spiral upwards taking passengers through magnificent landscape with a new view at every small bend.
You could hop off at Bergün and spend some time looking around the railway museum but I stayed put. I’d paid a small extra fee for my seat reservation and I wasn’t sure when the next train was due.
At Samedan which appeared to be something of a busy alpine railway junction you have now entered what is known as the Engadin region which includes the resort of St Moritz.
Further on you’ll enter the Bernina Pass, the high altitude watershed for rivers flowing south to form the Po in Italy and those heading north into the mighty Danube, the major waterway of central Europe. Indeed look out for the yellow sign flashing past that marks the divide. Don’t bother taking photos though unless you have a very fast camera. My shot came out in a terrible blur. In fact take care that you don't get reflections off the windows. Sadly many of my photos have some rather ghostly images superimposed upon the mountain-sides.
You’ll travel past several more high altitude stations. The free souvenir guide book on the train provides some historical background and information about the various points of interest but I just wanted to sit back and enjoy the marvellous views. I think I have to admit that whilst the Glacier Express was a really good experience, the Bernina pips it with truly wonderful scenery and absolutely amazing architectural feats that created this monumental railway before even the start of the 19th century.
From the Bernina Pass the train slowly spirals down clinging to the valley side towards the small picturesque town of Poschiavo. You’re now in the Italian speaking region of Switzerland. We also had to disembark here because a small landslide had blocked the track and we had to end our journey aboard a coach to the Italian town of Tirano.
I then had an hour to wait before catching the onward train to Milan.
What a brilliant journey that had been. I now want to go back in summer.
Chur's old town dates back to the 16th century, and was once surrounded by defensive walls. Today only a couple of parts of the fortifications remain. Located across the road from the Plessur river (or torrent - the water flows so fast!) is the Obertor. This gate was the main medieval entrance to the old town.
Just down the road you can also see the Maltesertor, which is a tall, stone tower which was once home to the medieval powder and ammunitions
On board of the Rhaetian Railway panorama coach you will enjoy a beautiful alpine journey begins in Chur, continues along the Albula route into the Engadine and keeps on going (without cogwheels) over the Bernina Pass down to southerly Valposchiavo, over the spiralling viaduct at Brusio and on to Tirano.
The journey can also be extended to Lugano by bus in summertime.
Chur is also said to be the city with the longest settlement history north of the Alps (pop: 35'000). Locals ensure me that it is the oldest city in Switzerland as the city actually dates back to 9,000 BC!
The Old City is quite extensive with many pleasant pedestrian streets and many historical buildings. More than 300 stores and shops all concentrated in this area, which keep the city center lively.
It is worth to visit the Old Town by yourself with the local map which contain useful information (available in German, English, Italian, French, Japanese and Chinese). Red information panels provide details about interesting historical or architectural points of interest.
Guided tours are also available ask for more information the Tourist information center.
This is the most beautiful house-facade in Chur in my opinion, its a bakery and cafe and when you are walking in the old part of Chur and take a closer look at all the buildings you will find many similar buildings with unique engravings and frescoes. Many of them also have a lot of italien influences like the facade of this building, that gives you the feeling that the facade is not totally flat, but includes also columns and stuccowroks..
The former Gasthaus "zur Glocke" was used as the headquarters by the french hugenott leader Count Henri de Rohan in 1635. It is not a restaurant anymore, but it still looks great with an interesting facade and a nice painting at one side of the building, see this painting in my 2nd and 3rd photos !
This is the innercourt of the so-called "Hof" and it is a large square with many interesting buildings and also the cathedral and the old cemetery of Chur. In former times this was certainly a fortress, built on a perfect place in order to defend the village against invaders.
The Hof of Chur is the former court of the bishop and it looks like a large fortress on a small hill above the old town of Chur. The main entrance for pedestrians is through the stairs that you can see in my main photo. Inside the Hof you will also find the cathedral of Chur and it is really worth seeing !
This church in the upper town of Chur is one of the most beautiful in Switzerland in my opinion and it dates back to a time, when the bishop of Chur was one of the most powerful bishops in an area that reached also far into Austria and Germany.
In 451 the seat of the bishop was founded in Chur.
Access to the church for tourists is throughout the day, except when a church-service is going on.
is a protestant church and therefore the interior is not so much decorated like catholic churches normally are, but at least this church has some very nice stained glass windows with great decorations and its tower looks very impressive as well. The area around of the church is the oldest part of the town and you will find a lot of interesting buildings there.
Its very easy to walk through the old part of Chur and you will find a lot of interesting architecture there. A stop-over of 1-2 hours might be enough for a first impression and when you come by train, the station is in walking-distance to the old city. Most ofthe streets will have cobbled stones, soit might make sense to take comfortable shoes when going there.
Chur has Switzerland's most beautiful post-office with really great frescoes at its facade, so dont miss to walk there and take a look ! You will find this beautiful building close to the main shopping-street of Chur, and opposite of the Art Nouveau building for the Graubündner Kantionalbank, thats another great sight of Chur.
is another part of the former medieval townwall and it is dating back to the 13th century. In this tower they first used to store the explosives,thats why its former name was also "Pulverturm". Nobody knows why its called Malteserturm nowadays.
Something that might be interesting for tourists in Chur might be the fact,that you can do your washings there, see my last 2 photos !
This selfservice laundry is open daily from 09.00am till 08.00pm
is the name of the upper towngate, in the south of the town. In medieval times this gate was one of the very few places to enter the town of Chur, and the gate was closed and locked all night. Nowadays its still a great place to enter the narrow streets of the old town,where you will find many streets with just a pedestrian area.