Church Viamala

Cazis stone church

Steinkirche Sommer
Steinkirche Cazis im Herbst

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Steinkirche Cazis im Herbst

One of the most unconventional church buildings in Switzerland is located in Cazis: the stone church with its three elements reminiscent of glacier-formed rocks draws the viewer's attention - and makes them think about themes such as security, space and warmth. However, the building by architect Werner Schmidt from Trun is still unfinished.


The stone church in Cazis has had an eventful history. In 1994, studies were commissioned for a new church building. In March 1995, the project by architect Werner Schmidt from Trun won out of seven submissions. This envisaged three stone-shaped individual volumes, which could be separated by retractable walls, a connecting wing to provide access between the existing vicarage and the sacred rooms, as well as a free-standing tower.

In April 1996, work began on the spectacular shell construction with the help of Heinz Isler, a specialist in shell construction from Burgdorf. Based on a model, 108 different wooden truss elements were produced. These were placed on the foundations like carvings of an orange, covered with a fine-meshed grid and then sprayed with shotcrete in thin layers until the wall thickness of approx. 15 cm was reached. The topping-out ceremony was held in November 1996 and the shell was completed in spring 1997. For cost reasons, further construction work had to be suspended for the time being. The building site was put into use as a church on a temporary wooden floor with emergency heating and emergency doors.

Security and freedom

A lively cultural workshop was created with festive church services, theatre, concerts, picture exhibitions and meditative events. After the financial situation was brought under control thanks to various endeavours, work continued with the new architect, Diederik Peper from Chur. The interior work and the connecting wing were completed. In July 2002, the church was consecrated and handed over for its intended purpose. Inside, the architecture conveys a feeling of security on the one hand and freedom on the other.

The layout of the rooms also recognises no front and back. Certainly there is no top and bottom. Freedom creates its own space through the democratic structure. Every visitor has to find their own point of view, their own perspective on God and people. This is further emphasised by the position and shape of the windows. In the eastern stone, the view is of the sky, in the centre stone the horizon opens up to the observer and in the western stone our gaze falls on the street, on the houses, on the people.

The bell tower is missing

So this church is not only an open church for the people inside, but also for the people outside. Many stop unexpectedly - and they feel at ease. No one is taken in by these rooms. The church is still unfinished. Around half a million francs are still needed to build the bell tower and a canopy at the entrance.

Opening hours

April to September: Daily from 09.00 to 18.00.

October to March: Daily from 09.00 to 17.00.

Guided tours on request.


Responsible for this content: Viamala Tourism.
This content has been translated automatically.

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