The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption is the Catholic cathedral of the diocese of Chur in Switzerland. The episcopal palace of the bishop of Chur is beside the church. The cathedral claims the relics of St Lucius of Britain, said to have been martyred nearby in the late 2nd century. During the Swiss Reformation, the Catholic population of the city were confined to a ghetto enclosed around the bishop's court beside the cathedral.
The first building on the site probably dates from the first half of the 5th century. The second church was built by Bishop Tello at some time before his death in 773. The current building was built between 1154 and 1270. In 1272 it was dedicated to The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The round arch window along the center axis is the largest medieval window in Graubünden. The late-Gothic high altar was completed in 1492 by Jakob Russ.
In 1811 a fire destroyed the towers and roof of the cathedral. In 1828-29 the roof was replaced and the towers were rebuilt from the ground up. The marble floor in the choir was added in 1852. In 1884-86 the west window was reglazed and a new organ was built by F. Goll of Lucerne. Between 1921 and 1926 the entire church was completely renovated. The interior was completely cleaned, some of the plaster was removed from the walls, the altars were restored and the crypt floor was excavated. About a decade later, in 1937-38, another organ was added by Franz Gattringer of Horn in the Canton of Thurgau. For the rest of the 20th century a museum was added in the crypt and additional repairs, cleaning and renovations continued. For about six years, beginning in 2001, the cathedral was completely renovated and new organs replaced the Goll and Gattringer organs.
The west facade of the cathedral consists of a Romanesque portal with the large west window above. The portal is flanked by two simple pilasters. The iron work above the portal was created around 1730. The single bell tower is on the north side of the building between the nave and choir. It was completely rebuilt by Johann Georg Landthaler after the 1811 fire. The two story sacristy makes up the east end of the building. A 14th century round window is visible on the north side of the choir, along with three windows on the south side which were restored in 1924-25.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.