Graubünden: Places to Explore



A small city of almost 37,000, with a modern downtown and a busy rail crossroad, the cantonal capital is the oldest continuously settled site north of the Alps. Discoveries of Stone Age tools place Chur's origins back to roughly 11,000 BC. The Romans founded Curia Raetorium on the rocky terrace south of the river; from here, they protected the Alpine routes that led to Lake Constance. By AD 284 the town served as the capital of a flourishing Roman colony, Rhaetia Prima. Its heyday was during the Middle Ages, when it was ruled by bishops and bishop-princes. Narrow streets, cobblestone alleys, hidden courtyards, and ancient shuttered buildings still abound. The southern föhn wind that blows up through the Rhine Valley accounts in great part for the wine grapes that grow along the steep slopes around the town.


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