St. Johann in Müstair monastery

Monastery of St. Johann in Müstair

The UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Engadine valley

The St. Johann Monastery in rhaeto-Romanic Val Müstair is one of the few buildings of the early Middle Ages that can still be admired today. The monastery church and the Chapel of the Holy Crossare still preserved from Carolingian times. The Planta Tower was built in the 10th century and is considered to be the oldest residence and fortified tower in the Alpine region. Additionally, the monastery church houses the largest and best preserved early medieval cycle of frescoes.
St. Johann in Müstair monastery
St. Johann in Müstair monastery
"There are winds that shake the monastery of Saint John, let them storm and rage on; for Emperor Charles protects us; / He stands before God's throne and representing us, / we are not lost yet, he leaves us not alone."
Caroluslied, Clostra Son Jon

Originally a monastery, St. Johnann was founded in the 12th century. It has been inhabited and staffed by Benedictine nuns since that time. The history of the well-preserved monastery extends over 1200 years back to the reign of the great Franconian King Charlemagne. The narrative handed down over the years in Val Müstairregarding the founding of the monastery by Charlemagne himself in 775, was confirmed by recent growth ring analyses of the beams.

This important church building has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. The monastery museum in the Planta Tower showcases archaeological finds, art treasures, and everyday monastic life from the 1200-year history of the monastery.

St. Johann can also be reached on foot as part of a beautiful hike.

A winter storm at the Umbrail Pass
In Romansh, the women's convent of St. Johann, which was built during the reign of Charlemagne around 775, is called "Clostra Son Jon." According to legend, the young regent came across the Alps on his way back from Paviaas the newly crowned king of the Lombards. After being affected by a life-threatening winter storm at the Umbrail Pass, he founded this monastery in the Münstertal valley. This is how the story is told in Müstair. And until not so long ago, 28 January, the anniversary of Charlemagne's death was a public holiday in Müstair on which even the children were excused from schooling.

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