St. Peter in Mistail

When there is no great weather or the right energy, I go visit some special places on my list. I know the train ride will give me excellent quiet time to read and the walking will not be any struggle. More like a spiritual observing day. Since the list of my "to see" places is growing, I keep on putting into my schedule these places. Because I know, if they are amazing, I will return. And Buddha`s quote keeps me going and exploring as often as I can: "The trouble is, you think you have time."

Here I choose to share some facts that are in my opinion more interesting than my own observations here:

A Carolingian church in a lonely position above the Albula gorge, built around 800 or a bit earlier on the former foundation walls of an older sacral construction. Oldest and best preserved complex of the Rhaetian tri-apsidal hall type. Originally a women’s cloister, first mentioned in 926 and closed in 1154. By means of archaeological digs between 1968-69 and 1983-84 evidence of numerous previous buildings to the north and south of the present day complex has been found; further to the north a convent and to the south a memorial (preserved under protection). The tower and sacristy are from before a later consecration in 1397. The ossuary is from an indeterminate date. Restoration 1968-79.

St. Peter in Mistail is one of the oldest religious buildings in Switzerland. Mistail- it still bears the Romansh name. The name originates from the Latin word 'monasterium' and means monastery.

The interior was completely decorated in Carolingian times. However, only small fragments of the Carolingian wall paintings have been preserved here. Being more robust, the Gothic frescoes were better able to withstand deterioration. In addition to a completely decorated central apse, a portrayal of St Christopher has also been preserved. The giant – the patron saint of travellers – is about four metres tall here.

The church literally stands in the middle of nowhere. The only real life is right beside it. A house - a home with amazing collection of animals. All living together as pets, hanging around freely and happily. I think one goose is the boss. As usual. But they all get along great. Each of them knows where and how to move and behave. Looks like an open animal garden. I had to pass them all to come further on my round trail. With all respect as a passing visitor.

And I will return soon. Since I was not alone there and moved on pretty fast. One older very nice woman was there, approached me and started talking to me. She was born in Biel, now living in Ticino for over 40 years already. She was afraid to pass the animals by the church, so I helped her with the courage. We went on the round trail together, talking French, Italian and German at once. Swiss style. Amazing brain. We walked together for an hour, talked about life and other adventures. Great Lady!

From Tiefencastel I took a bus over the Julier Pass, down to St.Moritz. And from there back home with a train. What a day.

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© 2018 by Mateja Kramar

Mateja Kramar