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We love Chur. It doesn’t have any one thing as a standout, just a cute, walkable old town (and the oldest town in Switzerland apparently), good restaurants, surrounded by lots of interesting destinations. It’s packed with darling historical hotels and restaurants. We’re told it has better than average weather, something about the Alps trapping heat in the valley.

Hotel (excellent location, small rooms as you’d expect for a historic location): **Zunfthaus zur Rebleuten

Sites:

  • **Rätisches Museum (history of the canton museum). It’s mostly in German, but with enough contextual information to make it interesting. Good roman artifacts.
  • *Bündner Kunstmuseum (modern art museum) is in a very modern ‘cube’ building, mostly underground. Check the exhibits – it’s not particularly standout, a pass unless you like what’s on at the moment.
  • **Domschatzmuseum Chur: small but notable. There’s the normal (and rather fine) collection of church reliquaries and the like. Below ground, there’s a remarkable, and historically important, series of paintings. The cycle of death images from 1543 consist of 25 painted picture fields on a half-timbered wall with three registers. They are executed as grisailles: mainly grey, black and white tones. They are based on the woodcut series with the Images of Death by Hans Holbein the Younger and are the first large-format copies of those small prints known. Apart from the two depictions of death from around 1520 to 1530 in the charnel house in Leuk, this is the oldest surviving cycle in the tradition of death dances in Switzerland.
  • The adjacent Chur Cathedral, otherwise known as the **Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, is impressive and exuberantly decorated, very unusual for Switzerland. 
  • The cable car to **Brambruesch (5 minute walk from old town). You’ll be horrified at the price ($30/person) but it’s fun and incredibly scenic. Also a major mountain biking route. There are no less than 5 restaurants at the top, spaced apart. You can walk back down, but it takes hours. We ate at Panoramahotel Malixerhof, which was friendly, in a lovely spot, and surprisingly fancy German food. (Sidenote: good option for mountain bikers: http://www.malixerhof.ch/hotel.html)

Food:

  • **Zunfthaus zur Rebleuten (same as our hotel, famous for its Cordon Bleu)
  • **La Meridiana: Don’t be distracted by the appearance – there’s a roof garden on the 5th floor! Great views of the city, Italian food.
  • **Veltiner Weinstube in the Hotel Stern is classic Swiss, wooden walls and traditionally dressed staff. It’s cozy and charming.

Churwalden

**Churwalden: the world’s longest Toboggan Run. Because, well, why not. Note – getting here is VERY pretty. Lenzerheide, right next door, is the regional center for mountain biking and skiing: more info here.

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