Church of St. Luzi Crypt – Chur, Switzerland - Atlas Obscura

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Church of St. Luzi Crypt

Chur, Switzerland

The remains of St. Lucius of Chur were said to be kept in this crypt for several centuries. 

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The Church of St. Luzi is part of a larger complex that includes the St. Luzi Seminary and the Chur Theological College. The precise date on which the original church was built is unknown, but it is known that it was commissioned by Luzius von Chur (St. Lucius of Chur). Although information regarding the saint is a blur of historical and apocryphal facts, it can safely be stated that the church was built around the 8th century.

Major renovations of the church of St. Luzi and the surrounding buildings took place throughout the subsequent centuries. Nowadays, ancient and modern architectural styles mingle seamlessly in this complex, and the church is no exception. The plaster that has been applied in recent years to the main walls of the church highlights the ancient Romanesque pillars that are still providing the main support to the church.

Upon approaching the main altar, a flight of stairs leads to the underground crypt hall, which dates back to the year 1150. The Romanesque style of the pillars at ground level is also recognizable in the columns and arches that dominate the crypt hall. In this hall is another altar, with the prominent theme of the fish occurring in the coat of arms and engravings. On both sides of the altar are the two openings of the semi-circular ring tunnel that runs behind the altar and leads to the crypt, which was built when the first iteration of the church saw the light of day.  The crypt in its current state is the result of the 1991 renovation work.

The crypt consists of two adjacent chambers, where the holy grave and the grave altar are located. A small window lets some light into the chamber with the holy grave, where a cross and some religious images of more recent origins can also be found. Across, four traditional chairs are placed in front of the grave altar. It is said that the remains of St. Lucius of Chur were placed in this crypt, but as with all information about his life, this is also to be taken with the grain of salt.

Know Before You Go

The Church of St. Luzi can be found under its official name “Katholische Kirche St. Luzi”, not to be confused with the nearby chapel by the name of St. Luziuskapelle.

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November 28, 2022

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