Church Surselva

Evangelische Kirche Tenna


With the Reformation around 1524, the church was converted into a sober sermon hall. The whitewashed frescoes from the late Middle Ages are now uncovered again and are much admired.



Tenna was originally an alpine area that had been settled by Safians around 1350. For many years, the faithful had to cross the Tenner Cross to Valendas for baptism and burial. But in 1440 the chapel received the right to baptismal and burial. The population of Tenner was henceforth spared the arduous last walk for their dead.

The Romanesque foundation building around 1408 underwent numerous changes, such as the late Gothic transformation from the chapel to the enlarged church in 1504, the reconstruction of the tower and the extension of the nave and enlargement of the choir. In 1733, the late Gothic wooden ceiling was renovated and the nave was further extended, recognizable by the different cross girdle in the wooden ceiling (late Gothic tendril painting, followed by Baroque painting) and the excavation of the three large windows in the southern wall of the nave.

The church of Tenna occupies a special place in art history with its Gothic paintings, which were only uncovered in 1957. The fresco cycle, created around 1408, is attributed national importance. It is one of the main works of the "Soft Style" in Switzerland.

Characteristic of the "Soft Style" are the three-dimensional robes, whose fabric falls down in round, flowing hollows. Also typical are the delicate, dreamy expression in the faces of the sitters and the delicate figure, paired with details. For a little more than a hundred years, the faithful were able to admire the frescoes when they went to church. In the course of the Reformation (1523/24) they were whitewashed, but fortunately not replastered, otherwise the paintings would have been destroyed with pickaxe blows.



Parking at the Kircher


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