Romanesque Church St. Niklà
17 October 2020
The 12th-century Romanesque church in St. Niklà (Canton of Graubünden) is dedicated to St. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors and children.
The church is situated near the bridge over the river Inn (And in Romanesh, Vallader dialect) on the old medieval road to Nauders. The Romanesque tower, the rectangular nave and the semicircular apse are still in good (renovated) condition.
After the construction of a new road on the other (left) bank of the Inn in the sixteenth century, the church (and the bridge) lost its function and importance.
On the west facade of the tower is a fresco of St. Christopher with the coat of arms of the families à Porta and Von Marsch. St. Christoforus was the patron saint of bridge builders and carried the infant Jesus across the river, in this case, the Inn.
These frescoes were made around 1500. The Von Marsch family owned the castles in Tarasp and Ramosch, à Porta was another powerful family in this region.
The church got a new vault in 1718. Soon afterwards, however, the church lost its function due to the construction of the new church in Strada (in 1750).
The church was used as a warehouse and extended with a farm soon afterwards.
In Donatyre (Canton Vaud) there is a Romanesque church between two farm houses (see under Monuments). The church shows a beautiful replica of the fresco of the Romanesque church in Montcherand (Canton Vaud).
The secular use probably saved the Romanesque church in St. Niklà. (Source and further information: www.san-nicla.ch).