Period II

Bischöfliches Schloss, Chur. Photo/Foto: TES.

Dance of Death in Chur

After years of renovation, the opening of the Cathedral Treasury Museum in Chur (Domschatzmuseum Chur) is scheduled for August 2020. The works of art come from the cathedral and the monastery church of St. Luzi. They illustrate 1600 years of cultural history of the diocese of Chur from its foundation in the 4th century. The presentation of the world-famous Totentanz (dance of death) from 1543 makes the reopening particularly special. The cycle was installed in 1543 in a corridor of the bishop’s palace. Now the frescoes can be seen in the former wine cellar. The murals were commissioned at this time by Bishop Luzius Iter (deceased in 1549) with the woodcuts of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) as an example. The Totentanz was an important theme in Switzerland and in the surrounding regions during this period. In the Historical Museum in Basel you can still see some fragments of a cycle from the Predigerkirche. This monastery and its Totentanz cycle of images did survive the Reformation (1525-1529), but not the French period (1798-1813). However, the Totentanz in Chur is still complete and is therefore a unique heritage. (Source and further information: www.bistum-chur.ch/kathedrale/domschatz).