Monuments

Kirche St. Niklà. Photo/Foto: TES.

Romanesque Church St. Niklà

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 located near the bridge over the river Inn (And in Reto-Romanesque, 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 are from around 1500. The Von Marsch family owned the castles in Tarasp and Ramosch, à Porta was another powerful family from the region. In 1718 the church got a new vault. Soon afterwards, however, the church lost its function due to the construction of the new church in nearby Strada (in 1750).

The church was subsequently used as a warehouse and extended with a farm. In Donatyre (Canton Vaud) there is also a Romanesque church from this period between the farms (see under Monuments) with a beautiful replica of the fresco of the Romanesque church in Montcherand (Canton Vaud, see under Monuments) This secular use may have been the salvation of the Romanesque church in St. Niklà. (Source and further information: www.san-nicla.ch).