Art & Culture
Tradition and Customs in Lenzerheide
Museums, Castles and Churches
Belfort castle ruins, the Barons of Vaz Museum, the cozy Zorten local museum and the many historic churches in the region give an insight into the lives of earlier generations. Immerse yourself in the time when Grisons still consisted of individual "frets" and discover the history of the Lenzerheide holiday region.
The small museum «The Free Lords of Vaz» in Brienz/ Brinzauls is of significant historic significance, and provides an insight into the lifestyle habits of past generations. At the end of the 13th century and the early 14th century, the Free Lords of Vaz were the most powerful noble family in Oberätien, i.e. what is now known as Graubünden.
Guided tours are available for groups at all times upon request.
Lili Schwarz P +41 81 384 16 41
This is where fashion, sport and art simply go together well. The Pesko Gallery offers a special platform for their works to many Swiss but also international artists.
Galerie Pesko, Plaz da Posta, 7078 Lenzerheide
P +41 81 385 10 14
Museum Vaz local
The Vaz local museum will display the life and work of the original peasant population from the early 20th Century as well as the development of tourism up to the creation of the world-famous resort of Lenzerheide-Valbella. The collection includes folklore, agriculture, crafts, church history, sports and tourism, a fully equipped blacksmith and wheelwright from Muldain, mill from Zorten, a weavery with a weaving loom from Lain which is still being worked on today, a Maiensäss (mountain pasture hut) kitchen and numerous other objects.
The adjoining «Sala Parpan» gallery exhibits sculptures by Ferdinand Parpan, honorary citizen of Vaz / Obervaz. Here you can also view works by local artists from different disciplines during special exhibitions held annually.
Open from end of December until Easter and end of June until October. Always on Wednesday and Thursday as wells as on the last Sunday of the month from 01.30 - 05.00 pm.
Group offers: Guidances for groups during and beyond the official opening hours possible. Advanced booking is needed.
P +41 81 384 22 29 or M +41 79 202 57 75
Belfort Castle ruins
Today's castle Belfort was a focal point of political, legal and economic organisations of the country in the period from 13th to14th Centuries. Almost 500 years ago the Castle Belfort was stormed and burned down in the run-up to the battle of Calven (1499). Its restored ruins not only reminds one of the successful self-assertion of the confederation in the Swabian war, but they are also monuments to its builders, the Barons of Vaz, once one of the most powerful dynasties in Oberrätien.
The local museum of Vaz/Obervaz opened a herb garden in the ruins of Belfort fortress in Brienz. Within the historic walls thrive spices, medicinal and aromatic plants which were probably in use in the Middle Ages.
Castles and historic buildings
Other castle ruins and historic buildings are located in the Lenzerheide region. We have compiled a document about the most important ones.
There is documentary evidence that Nivagl Castle dates back earlier than Belfort. It is unknown whether it is the original ancestral seat of the Free Lords of Vaz, or merely the seat of their advisors. The archaeological dig in 1980 brought many small finds to light and provided information about Nivagl’s construction and settlement history. The finds are exhibited in the Raetian Museum in Chur. In the extensive complex, the ruins are no longer visible above the ground.
The partially historic churches in the region are home to some important cultural treasures. Among them are the beautifully carved, late gothic winged alter in the Pfarrkirche in St. Calixtus, and the cemetery of the Marienkirche in Lantsch/ Lenz with its wrought iron grave crosses. Here is a list of churches in the region.Churches (pdf)
In the Lenzerheide holiday region, churches, castles and other cultural treasures bear witness to early trade across the Alpine passes. The historic route of the Upper Road ran from Chur straight and relatively obstacle-free via Lenzerheide to Tiefencastel and from there via the Septimer to Chiavenna. Discover and experience on the cultural and chapel paths of the region, or on the long-distance trail "Via Sett" the culture of the region and a diverse natural scenery.
Cultural route «Voia Culturala»
A new cultural route has been created between Vazerol and the ruins of Belfort Castle. Information boards along the “Voia Culturala” provide fascinating facts about the culture and history of the region.
The first stop on the cultural route is the «Bündner Rütli» near Vazerol. Rural councillors would have come here in the 15th and 16th centuries, to discuss alternatives to the peasants’ revolt. One of the most important historic treasures is located in the Pfarrkirche St. Calixtus, the second stop on the “Voia Culturala”. This refers to the masterfully carved, late Gothic winged altar. It is regarded as the most important altar in Graubünden. The third stop of the cultural route is the ruin of Belfort Castle. Over 500 years ago, Belfort Castle was stormed and burnt down prior to the Battle of Calven (1499). In recent years, the castle ruin has been restored, secured and made accessible. The fourth and final stop is the «Paunt dalla Dieschma». The trade route led over this, until the road network was rebuilt in around 1830. The quarry stone arch is partly original, and the concrete stone path is still visible.
From Chur via Lenzerheide to Chiavenna
The Septimerpass - the heart of the cultural and long-distance trail - was considered one of the most important Alpine crossings in Roman times. From the spring of 2018, the long-distance footpath Via Sett will follow the historic route of the “Obere Strasse” from Chur via Lenzerheide to Tiefencastel and via the Septimer to Chiavenna. On the new Via Sett you walk from Alpine town to alpine town and encounter different cultures and a diverse natural scenery in three different valleys.
Other cultural routes
More fascinating and informative cultural routes can be found on the Tour Portal. Walk, for example, in the footsteps of the Free Lords of Vaz, discover the Eggatobelbrücke on the Julier and Septimer routes, or enjoy the views of Chur and the Chur Rhine Valley on the Roman road, via the Churer Joch.
The cultural offerings are not restricted to the Lenzerheide holiday region; the entire canton in which it is situated offers a wealth of culture. You can find information on the diverse cultural programme of the Canton of Graubünden here.