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CURIA (Chur) Graubünden, Switzerland.

Roman vicus and fort E of the Rhine in the Schanfigg valley. (The non-Roman name is mentioned in Ant. It. 277.7 and Tab. Peut.). Curia was on a military road from Italy to Lake Constance, and at the N end of the Julier, Splügen, and Septimer passes. This strategic position made the site an important administrative center of Raetia from the early 1st c. A.D. on. By the late 3d c. or the 4th its military post was turned into a fort. The settlement was then a municipium. From A.D. 451 on Curia was the seat of a bishop; it has been continuously inhabited ever since.

The vicus was mainly on the S bank of a Rhine tributary, the Plessur, and on the slopes of the Pizokel. Occupation goes back at least to the early Iron Age, and in Roman times covered an area of more than 80,000 sq. m. The Late Roman fortress, on a rocky spur of the Mittenberg on the N bank of the Plessur, lies beneath the bishop's palace and the cathedral. Its plan was triangular (area ca. 9040 sq. m). Some foundations, especially at the N edge of the plateau such as those of the Marsöl tower, may belong to it. There was a cemetery in the area of the Martiaskirche. The Raetisches Museum is in the Hofstrasse.


E. Poeschel, Die Kunstdenkmäler Graubündens 7 (1948) 3-6; F. Staehelin, Die Schweiz in römischer Zeit (3d ed. 1948) 271, 331, 369-70; H. Lieb & H. Wüthrich, Lexikon Topographicum der römischen und frühmittelalterlichen Schweiz (1967) 51-53; C. M. Wells, The German Policy of Augustus (1972) 79; excavations: Bündner Monatsblätter; Schriftenreihe des Rätischen Museums 1- (1965-); Jb. Schweiz. Gesell. f. Urgeschichte 53 (1966-67) 118, 133-36; 54 (1968-69) 85; 57 (1972-73) 301-2.


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