Period II

Bischöfliches Schloss, Chur. Photo/Foto: TES.

Dance of Death in Chur

After years of renovation, the Cathedral Treasury Museum in Chur (Domschatzmuseum Chur) is scheduled to open in August 2020.

The works of art come from the St. Luzi cathedral and monastery church.  They illustrate 1600 years of the cultural history of the diocese of Chur,  from its foundation in the 4th century.

The presentation of the world-famous Totentanz (dance of death) of 1543 makes the reopening particularly special. The cycle was installed in 1543 in a corridor of the bishop’s palace.

The murals were commissioned by Bishop Luzius Iter (deceased in 1549). The woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) were his inspiration.

The Totentanz was an important theme in Switzerland and the surrounding regions.

Fragments of the dance of death are on show in the Historical Museum of Basel as well. These images of the “Predikerkirche” survived the Reformation (1525-1529), but not the French period (destruction in 1805-1806).

The Totentanz in Chur is still complete, representing a unique heritage.

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