× Home Journeys Countries and Cities
Travel and Singing
Travel and singing
Promontognio Hotel Bregaglia Bondo Chiavenna Soglio Astano
Erfurt - Weimar - Eisenach Maria Plain Melchtal   Melchtal 2007   Melchtal 2008   Melchtal 2009   Melchtal 2012 Salzburg Steyr Venice Wildhaus Zofingen
Stories / History Interesting things What's new ?
  ☰ Menu Flagge Deutsch Drapeau français British flag
old town

The diocese of Como granted Chiavenna town charter as early as 1030. From the 11th/12th century until the 14th century, Chiavenna belonged to the Duchy of Swabia. In 1176, Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa is said to have knelt here before his cousin Henry the Lion*).

In the 14th century, the Visconti, who had become rulers over the Valtellina, bought the town.

GraubŁnden annexed the town in 1512 and destroyed the castle. In 1797 it became part of the Cisalpine Republic and shared the fate of Lombardy, became Austrian in 1815 and has been Italian since 1859.

Giovanni Nepumugeno

This beautiful Nepomuk stands on the bridge over the Mera River and is a little reminiscent of the Habsburg era of Chiavenna.

By the way, his name there is Giovanni Nepumugeno. See my Nepomuk collection.

Church of San Lorenzo

San Laurenco garden

Dhe buildings of St. Lawrence's Church originally date from the 5th century. The arcades were built between the 17th and 18th centuries. The 16th century bell tower towers over the collegiate church.

Through the arcades you reach the baptistery: the baptismal fountain, made from a single block of stone, dates back to 1156. The basin has a decorative relief depicting the Holy Saturday ceremony.

San Laurenco, interior view

Our Susi played the organ in this church.


In the collegiate church of San Lorenzo, St. Lawrence with his grate must not be missing.


1 / 9
Il Castello
2 / 9
Piazza Crollalanza
3 / 9
Piazza Rudolfo Pestalozzi
4 / 9
St. John Nepomuk on the Bridge over the Mera
5 / 9
The river Mera
6 / 9
Piazza Rudolfo Pestalozzi
7 / 9
San Lorenzo
8 / 9
San Lorenzo
9 / 9
2017: the Mera with lots of water

Frederick Barbarossa's genuflection before Henry the Lion,
a momentous event.

The Staufer Emperor Barbarasso was dependent on the support of his loyal Duke of Bavaria and Saxony, Henry the Lion. He needed troops for another campaign against the Lombards. Henry had long disliked the Italian policy of his Emperor Barbarossa and did not want another war and refused support. In Chiavenna, which at the time belonged to the Duchy of Bavaria, the historic genuflection took place. Barbarossa knelt before Henry the Lion and asked for troops to be sent. Henry refused. As a result, Barbarossa lost the battle. At the next opportunity, Henry the Lion was deposed as Duke of the Two Lands and he was sent into exile. Even a genuflection of Henry the Lion before Barbarossa could not prevent this. Henry the Lion had to make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela as a coach. To reduce dependence on a single duke, Barbarossa reduced the size of the Duchy of Bavaria and detached Styria. A new independent Duchy of Styria was created with Steyr as its capital (an important step for the emergence of Austria). The rule of the Guelphs in Bavaria was over, the new dukes came from the House of Wittelsbach.