Carolingian religious buildings
The convent of St. John in Müstair was founded in the 8th century, supposedly by Charlemagne; his statue in the convent church is a lasting testimony to this. The monastic complex was built as a unified whole. Today the convent church and the chapel of the Holy Cross are the only remaining buildings from the Carolingian period.
The church - the heart of the convent
Originally the convent church was reserved exclusively for the convent. It only became a parish church, and therefore open to all believers, during the Reformation in the 16th century. In summer regular services are held here.
Fascinating imagery and Charlemagne
The church of the convent of St. John in Müstair contains the largest and best-preserved early medieval fresco cycle in the world. Carolingian and Romanesque paintings embellish the walls and the three apses. The entire history of salvation is depicted. Pictures tell the story of King David from the Old Testament, the childhood, work and suffering of Jesus, as well as the ascension to heaven and second coming of Christ. The apses are dedicated to saints and martyrs: St. John the Baptist, St. Stephen, St Peter and St. Paul.
As well as this, the oldest monumental statue of Charlemagne stands in the convent church. Using the latest technology, the statue is currently undergoing investigations. What can the statue tell us? We await the latest findings and revelations with excitement and curiosity.
Well worth joining a guided tour of the church
A guided tour of the church gives visitors an insight into the architecture and history of the convent; it also provides an opportunity to look into the fascinating imagery that was once reserved for monks and clergy.
Chapel of the Holy Cross - a Carolingian jewel
Nowadays the chapel of the Holy Cross is set apart from the pathway to the church, but in the 8th century it was directly incorporated in the monastic complex. The upper floor served as a private chapel for abbots and dignitaries.
The restoration work will be finished in autumn 2018.
In the meantime it is not possible to visit the chapel.
The structural research and restoration work on the outer facade were finished in 2011. The wall paintings in the lower floor have been restored; the upper floor and its treasures are still undergoing restoration.
From the 12th March till the middle of September 2018 the chapel of the Holy Cross is closed to visitors. Afterwards the upper floor will again be used as a chapel and there will be the possibility of guided tours.
The church is open daily. The chapel of the Holy Cross is closed till September 2018. Then the restoration will be concluded and the chapel of the Holy Cross can be visited with a guide on certain days (as advertised) or on request.
Information available from the convent shop:
T. +41 (0)81 858 61 89
visit-museum @ muestair.ch
Opening times for guided tours:
May – October: 9:00 – 17:00
Sundays / public holidays: 13:30 - 17:00
November – April: 10:00 – 12:00 und 13:30 – 16:30
Sundays / public holidays: closed in the morning