Church Surselva

Evangelische Kirche Tenna

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



was originally an alpine area that had been settled by Safiers around 1350. For many years, the faithful had to cross the Tenn Cross to Valendas for baptism and burial. But in 1440 the chapel received the right to baptize and funeral. From then on, the Tenners were spared the arduous last walk for their dead.

The Romanesque foundation building around 1408; the late Gothic transformation from the chapel to the enlarged church in 1504 - with the conversion of the tower and the extension of the nave and enlargement of the choir. 1733 Renovation of the late Gothic wooden ceiling and a further extension of the nave, recognizable by the different transverse belt in the wooden ceiling (late Gothic tendril painting, then Baroque painting) and eruption of the three large windows in the southern Ship wall.

MuralsSurped? Who would have expected such a richly decorated church in such a remote mountain valley as the Safien Valley? 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 significance. It is one of the main works of the "Soft Style" in Switzerland.

Characteristic of the "soft style" are the three-dimensional-looking robes, whose fabric falls down in round, flowing hollows. Also typical are the delicate, dreamy expression in the faces of the depicted and the delicate figure, paired with details. For a little more than a hundred years, the faithful were able to marvel at the frescoes as they walked into church. In the course of the Reformation (1523/24) they were whitewashed, but fortunately not replastered, otherwise the paintings would have been destroyed with pimple blows.


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