"Müstair Valley" Müstair by german_eagle

Müstair Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 49 photos

Two things put this valley in the Alps on the tourist map: The Benedictine convent, an UNESCO world heritage site, and the excellent hiking options both inside and outside the Swiss National Park which borders at the valley at Pass dal Fuorn.

Despite its very central location in the middle of the Alps the valley is still off the beaten path, far from mass tourism and never crowded. The reason is probably that there is no easy and fast way to get there: From the rest of Switzerland you have to drive over several passes or change trains and finally to bus, from Italy and Austria it has been even more inconvenient to get there by public transportation until the railroad Meran - Mals was re-opened recently. And driving up the Vinschgau was no fun either.

The result is that the villages are unspoilt with beautiful old houses, a mix of Engadine style with Tyrolean architecture, sgraffiti and paintings as decoration. Accommodation and food are down to earth, nothing fancy, but of very good quality. Local culture is well preserved and alive, most prominent in the Rumansch language.

Cultural highlight of the valley is the more than 1200 years old Benedictine convent Son Jon (Rumansch language, St. John Baptist in English) in Müstair, the easternmost village of Switzerland. The convent alone is worth a trip to the valley. It is well preserved, minor restoration works are under way but not disturbing the visitor (sometimes the nuns, though!)

I've visited the convent twice so far: The first time the church was closed for filming a TV show about it done by the SWR (German station) in the series "Treasures of the world". I could see the museum at least so the trip was not totally a waste. You can imagine I was upset, though. (I recall yours truly pounding on the door to the church and screaming on the top of the lungs, LOL.) The second visit was more successful: I was able to see the church with the famous frescos and also the museum. Museum - again? Yep, they had made good progress with restoration in the meantime and the museum was moved to a different part of the convent buildings - so it turned out I saw different rooms than on my first visit! YAY!

  • Intro Updated Jul 23, 2011
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