Graubünden - Culture of Construction

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Chantun Grischun
Cantone dei Grigioni
Additional Buildings and Works
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Bischöfliches Schloss*

Hofplatz | 7000 Chur/Cuira/Coira
Located at the north-east corner of the bishop's square. An irregular building complex surrounding a small trapezoidal interior courtyard. Newly constructed by Bishop Johannes VI von Flugi (1636-61) and Bishop Ulrich VI von Mont (1661-92), in part by master builder Domenico Barbieri using existing holdings/inventory from the Late Middles Ages. A further building period which was more definitive to its character by Bishop Joseph Benedikt von Rost (1728-54); west façade, stairway, as well as all stucco work were done under his auspices; renovated on various occasions in the 20th century. In front of the west wing triaxial entrance façade from 1732-33 with rich sculptural exterior decoration, unusual for the Grisons as display front onto the courtyard square. The outward axes characterized by rich portals, composite antas of great size, and pediment; above the narrower middle axis lucarne-type upper part; portals and windows crowned with roofing and cartouche of stucco, all comprised in varied tones of ochre. Behind the façade the magnificent, monumental staircase from 1732-33; here the richest stucco decorations of the castle and among the best régence stucco work of Switzerland, by Master Joseph around 1733.

South Wing: after the inner courtyard what is known as the silver arch, coat of arms of Bishop Heinrich von Höwen around 1500. The Mediaeval curtain wall serves the long north wing partially as an exterior wall; the Marsöl Tower at the north-east corner was included in the new construction of the 17th century. Library on the 1st floor of this tower, star-shaped coffer ceiling with in-laid, around 1640. Chapel on the 2nd floor with outstanding stucco work and décor around 1730. renovated 1968-69. In the west part of the north wing the two-storey Knights' Hall with gallery and richly composed coffered ceiling from 1663. Wooden sculptures, mourners at the Crucifixion, Swabian around 1510. In almost every other room régence stucco work ceilings by Master Joseph. Three tower stoves by Johan Caspar that is Johannes Ruostaller 1750-53.

(Kunstführer durch Graubünden, Hg. Gesellschaft für Schweizerische Kunstgeschichte. Eng. translation of the title: Art Guide of Graubünden, ed. Society for the History of Swiss Art, Zurich 2008. This book has only been published in German.)