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:
The Erfurt Synagogue was built c. 1094. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. Thanks to the extensive preservation of the original structure, it has a special place in the history of art and architecture and is among the most impressive and highly rated architectural monuments in Erfurt and Thuringia. The synagogue was constructed during the Middle Ages on the via regia, one of the major European trade routes, at the heart of the historical old quarter very close to the Merchants Bridge and the town hall. Many parts of the structure still remain today, including all four thick outer walls, the Romanesque gemel window, the Gothic rose window and the entrance to the synagogue room.
After extensive restoration, the building was reopened in 2009. On display in the exhibition rooms is an collection of medieval treasures discovered during archaeological excavations. This includes 3,140 silver coins, 14 silver ingots, approx. 6,000 works of goldsmithery from the 13th and 14th centuries and an intricately worked wedding ring of the period, of which only two others are known to exist anywhere in the world. A mikveh (Jewish bath) has been excavated close by (13th/14th century). The Old Synagogue, the Small Synagogue and two Jewish cemeteries together form a network of historical buildings and sites which vividly portray the role of Jewish life in the history of Erfurt.