Saint John Abbey in Müstair

2 km far away from Tubre in the Val Monastero, on Swiss territory, a monastery with gorgeous Carolingian frescoes is located.

When you follow the road from Tubre, the most western municipality of South Tyrol, 2 km further towards west, you are already in Switzerland, more precisely in Müstair. This village is famous for the St John Benedictine Abbey. The monastery was founded by Charles the Great, king of the Langobards, after he escaped a blizzard. In the middle of the 12th century, St John became a nunnery. In 1528 the abbey church, dedicated to John the Baptist, was made the parish church of Müstair.

The Swiss scientists Robert Durrer and Joseph Zemp discovered in 1894 gorgeous Carolingian frescoes from the first half of the 9th century, under myriad layers of other paintings. The frescoes conduced educated monks to delve into the message of salvation. Above the vault, scenes from the life of King David (Old Testament) can be seen, furthermore numerous scenes from the New Testament can be found. The life of Jesus is shown starting at his childhood until his return at the Last Judgment. One scene sequence was brought to the Swiss State Museum in Zürich in 1908/09, the other frescoes were exposed with help of the nuns between 1947 and 1951.

Some of the Romance pictures from 1200 can be seen in the abbey museum today. Finally in 1969 the Pro St John Abbey Foundation was founded in Müstair to save the frescoes from ruin. In the 1980s, the gorgeous building was declared as UNESCO World Heritage. Also today nuns live in the St John Abbey in Müstair and offer a spot of ease and reflection in their guest house.

Opening hours - museum:
summer (from May to October 2017):
from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm
Sundays and public holidays open from 1.30 pm
winter (from November 2017 to April 2018):
from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 12 am and from 1.30 to 4.30 pm
Sundays and public holidays closed in the morning
closed on December 25 (Christmas)

Admission - museum:
12.00 CHF (approx. 11 Euros, adults), free for kids under 6 years
6.00 CHF (approx. 5.5 Euros, children and young people from 6 to 16 years)
8.00 CHF (approx. 7 Euros, students and apprentices from 16 years)
combined visit museum and churches possible

Opening hours - churches (guided visit):
summer (from May to October 2017):
from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 12 am and from 1.30 to 5 pm
Sundays and public holidays closed in the morning
winter (from November 2017 to April 2018):
from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 12 am and from 1.30 to 4.30 pm
Sundays and public holidays closed in the morning
closed on December 25 (Christmas)

Admission - churches (guided visit):
10.00 CHF (approx. 9 Euros, adults), free for kids under 6 years
5.00 CHF (approx. 4.5 Euros, children and young people from 6 to 16 years)
8.00 CHF (approx. 7 Euros, students and apprentices from 16 years)
combined visit churches and museum possible

Further information:
phone: +41 81 8516228, visit-museum@muestair.ch

Suggested accommodations

  1. Hotel Edelweiß
    Hotel

    Hotel Edelweiß

  2. Hotel Garberhof
    Hotel

    Hotel Garberhof

  3. Hotel Watles
    Hotel

    Hotel Watles

  4. Hotel Das Gerstl
    Hotel

    Hotel Das Gerstl

  5. Erlebnishotel Engel
    Hotel

    Erlebnishotel Engel

tips and more infos