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Castello Mesocco*

6563 Mesocco
The most significant castle complex of the Grisons and one of the largest fortresses in Switzerland (Poeschel), in a dominant position on a great cliff mound, the Moesa flows below it in an arch.

Early mediaeval public castle with its own chapel, systematically developed in the 11th century and under the auspices of the Lords of Sax in the 12th century and the beginning of the 15th century. After being sold to the Trivulzio family of Milan 1480 late mediaeval expansion. 1526 evacuation of the fortress and orderly dismanteling thereof under pressure of the Three Leagues, the cemtery not destroyed by lightning until 1835. Inventory secured 1925-26, partial securing 1990-93.

Three defense ramparts: outer defence with the church Santa Maria, few wall remains preserved. Large castle courtyard along the edge of the plateau surrounded by a wall supported by five dissimilar towers. On its south-west side the “Rocca”: self-contained, reinforced square of buildings with donjon (2nd half of the 12th century), palace (15th century) with remains of murals from the beginning of the 15th century, minor buildings and cystern; partially conserved.

North of the palace Church-Ruin San Carpoforo. Mentioned 1219, containment walls conserved: Small Hall 11th century, with horse-shoe shaped apse which has a flat wall constructed behind it; pilaster strip on the east wall, which was probably originally finished with three arches. From the preceding church of the 8th century or earlier the foundation of the north nave is visible. The bell tower / campanile (probably 11th century) stands alone in axial rotation near the north-west corner of the nave: foundations with panel areas and three-part round-arch friezes, round-arch windows in the five upper storeys, blunt tent roof.

(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.)

Mesocco. Castello e chiesa Santa Maria del Castello, Schweizerische Kunstführer GSK, Nr. 362/ 363, Bern 1985.