Let's walk you through Waltensburg and its surroundings.
Waltensburg is located at 1,100 metres on the southern slope of the Rhine valley. The Surselva valley is 80 kilometres long and has wonderful glacier valleys on the north side and long, sunny valleys on the south side. The villages are located on the sunbathing slopes with alternating woods and meadows. The higher, the rougher. The mountains around Flims are listed as UNESCO world heritage site.
Agriculture is important in Waltensburg. There are just about sufficient facilities for this rural community of 350 inhabitants and the tourist population. Although Rhaeto-Romanic is the vernacular, you can easily get by with German.
The small reformational church in Waltensburg, the only one in a wide catholic region, is known for its wonderful frescos. Before the reformation the church used to be Roman Catholic and it dates back to 1100. It was further developed in 1300 and 1450. The current pulpit originates from 1672. The frescoes were painted around 1330. During the reformation the precious murals were covered with thick layers of plaster. It was only when the building was restored in the 1930s that these hidden treasures were rediscovered.
Waltensburg’s and its fortresses
The history in Waltensburg is very much alive in the four fortresses, the church and the courthouse. The village is located on a plateau above the Vorderrhein and so the valley could be well supervised. Today only two fortresses are open to the public. The other two fortresses lie on hidden locations on private properties.
Jörgenburg / Munt Sogn Gieri
This is by far the biggest, most impressive and oldest fortress in the region. The oldest writings on this fortress are first recorded in 765 in which the existence of a chapel is mentioned. It had lots of official and unofficial owners and it served to many as a safe haven in bad times. In the 1930s restauration some donations were used, but by then much of the orginal building materials had moved to the village for the construction of new houses. The ruins will therefore always be ruins, but worth a visit anyway! Watch the strategic location, the magnificent view towards Ilanz and the remains of the gallows (stone pillars) from the time the Waltensburg court prosecuted witchcraft.
Kropfenstein / Casti Grotta
This impressive fortress is hanging on the edge of a slope. It is hard to imagine how this amazing building was constructed and how all necessary materials came to the construction site. Lots of accidents must have happened, that’s for sure. Also sure is that the actual entrance site of this 13th century fortress cannot have been the original entrance. It may have been a hanging bridge or rope ladder that could be removed and hidden, if necessary. Investigation did not start until 1956, but still today there is so much more mystery than knowledge about this place. This place burnt down several times and had a great many owners. What’s left of this architectural masterpiece is accessible, but be careful: the ruins are great to climb but far too dangerous for children and unfit for those suffering from fear of heights!