Most of the 35,000 people in Chur speak German. But the soul of the town is definitely Latin. This eastern Swiss city in the upper Rhine Valley was the capital of the ancient Roman province of Rhaetia Prima, and is still a key transit point between North and South. If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were in northern Italy. And architecturally and culturally, it really is.

Chur was long  known as Switzerland’s oldest town, with evidence of settlement there 5,000 years ago. But more recent excavation work has uncovered artifacts that clearly date back 13,000 years!

Modern Chur is the capital of Switzerland’s largest canton (state), Graubünden, also known as “The Grisons”. This canton is trilingual in German, Italian, and Romansch, a very special language spoken by only about 50,000 people, and Switzerland’s fourth national language.

The heart of Chur is its old town, with the center point being the “Arcas”, a Roman-style piazza, into which lead the many narrow, winding alleyways lined with many little shops and boutiques of all descriptions.

Life is good here. People still take long lunch breaks, and love to eat out in the many small but fine restaurants, or simply sit with a drink and have a chat with friends. This is the home of a number of very unique culinary specialties, featured in local restaurants. “Slow-Food” is the watchword here.

Chur is still a transit point for destinations like Davos, St. Moritz and Arosa. But it is really worth a stay in its own right.

Chur is a cultural interface between North and South.