Castelmur Palace

Bregaglia, Switzerland

The Palazzo Castelmur was built in 1723 for Johannes Redolfi. Around 1850 Baron Giovanni de Castelmur (1800-1871), a descendent of the Castelmur family from the nearby Castelmur Castle bought the Palazzo as well as the ruins of Castelmur Castle in Bondo. Giovanni was the son of a wealthy Marseille pastry shop owner, who after becoming a successful businessman returned to his family's ancestral village. At the age of 30 he became a property owner in the village, though it is still unclear how he managed to acquire his fortune or title. In 1840 he married his cousin Anna Castelmur (1813-1892) from the nearby village of Vicosoprano.

In 1850 Giovanni and Anna began the expansion and renovation of the old structure. Under the direction of Milanese architect Giovanni Crassi Marliani the exterior was redone in a Moorish inspired Neo-Gothic style. The brick front façade is flanked by two large towers, both the façade and towers crowned with machicolations and corbels. The older parts of the mansion were decorated with paneling and wall paper. The new additions were decorated in the Louis Philippe style with Rococo and Biedermeier elements. The walls are covered with ornate murals and silk wallpaper. Many of the ceilings were covered with trompe l'oeil paintings by Gaspare Tirinanzi and wall paintings by Zaverio Tessera. The Palazzo was surrounded with an English garden and a 2 m tall wall.

Both Giovanni and Anna were patrons of the arts and philanthropists who supported many organizations in the region. As the couple never had children, after Anna's death the Palazzo was inherited by other relatives. In 1961 the heirs sold the castle and surrounding lands to the local government of the Circolo di Bregaglia. The local government converted it into a museum. On the second floor is the Archivio Storico, an archive that stores and researches documents relating to the Val Bregaglia region. Additionally on the second floor there is a permanent exhibit dedicated to the history of Graubünden's pastry bakers, a tribute to Giovanni's upbringing.



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Founded: 1723
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Switzerland

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User Reviews

Martin Raske (3 years ago)
It is always wonderful to stroll around in this crooked house of the rich confectioner. Lately there have also been temporary exhibitions - so it is particularly worth coming back.
Matteo Copes (3 years ago)
The best place to party
Michelle Beeler (3 years ago)
If you know the story behind the castle it is just like travelling back in time. It is a beautiful and special building in a beautiful part of grisons. The guide is very kind and knows a lot about the building itself and the family Castelmur. I really recommend visiting it.
Dominik Gehl (3 years ago)
Such a beautiful Palazzo with the mountains as a backdrop ! Don't miss the inside, the wall and ceiling paintings are outstanding.
Adrian Kamp (5 years ago)
Wunderschön, aber leider erschlossen gewesen... Kann jedem nur die Aussicht und einen Spaziergang dort empfehlen! Hatten einen schönen Tag bei guten Wetter dort =)
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