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Vrin coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : canton of Grisonscanton of Grisons Graubünden (GR)
Region : Surselva
Political community : Lumneziai2
Postal code : 7149
former BFS no. : 3606
Coordinates : 727 161  /  168431 coordinates: 46 ° 39 '18 "  N , 9 ° 6' 0"  O ; CH1903:  seven hundred twenty-seven thousand one hundred sixty-one  /  168431
Height : 1448  m above sea level M.
Area : 71.25  km²
Residents: 242 (December 31, 2012)
Population density : 3 inhabitants per km²
Website: www.lumnezia.ch
Vrin town center

Vrin town center

Vrin (Switzerland)
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Parish before the merger on January 1, 2013

Vrin ( [vʁin] ? / I ) is a village in the municipality of Lumnezia , Canton of Graubünden , Switzerland . It is located in the Val Lumnezia (Lugnez), about 21 km from Ilanz . Audio file / audio sample

By the end of 2012, Vrin formed its own political municipality . On January 1, 2013, it merged with the former municipalities of Cumbel , Degen , Lumbrein , Morissen , Suraua , Vignogn and Vella to form the new municipality of Lumnezia.

coat of arms

Blazon : In red a silver (white) Agnus Dei (lamb of God), carrying a golden (yellow) cross , overlaid by a golden, six-pointed star

The figures indicate the double patronage of the parish church : the Lamb of God to John the Baptist and the star to Mary .


The mountain village lies on a terrace at the end of the Lugnez valley and in the headwaters of the Glenner, surrounded by steep grass meadows and alpine pastures. Vrin is the starting point for pass hikes over the Fuorcla da Patnaul to Vals and over the Diesrut and Greina into Ticino. The climate is rather rough compared to the rest of the Lugnez Valley and is influenced by the southern weather conditions. An average of around 1,143 mm of precipitation falls annually on 121 days. The wettest month is a midsummer month with an average of 139 mm of rain, depending on the climate year. The driest months of the year are February and March with an average of 59 mm of precipitation over 12.7 days, often with plenty of sunshine.

The former municipal area of ​​7156 hectares extended from the village center zone to the high alpine location of the mountain range around Piz Terri and up to Greina. Larger forest areas are on the right side of the Glenner valley, while on the slopes south-east of Piz da Vrin (2564 m) large alpine meadows and hay meadows are tended by mountain agriculture. The mountain village includes the settlements Vrin Dado, Vrin Dadens (core village at sea level: 1448 m), Cons, Ligiazun and Sogn Giusep. The Alpine settlement of Vanescha at the foot of the Piz Terri is only inhabited in summer. The starting point for the pass path over the Greina is Sogn Giusep, which can only be reached via a narrow, tarred road.

Vrin is a mountain farming village with huge alpine pastures, which is affected by constant migration. In 1982 a goods improvement was decided. After controversy, the Greina hydroelectric power plant consortium decided not to use the Greina plain in 1986, which resulted in compensation for the community. The project of a nature reserve Parc Adula found no followers in modern times. The use of the free-flowing torrents, the expansion of tourism and the promotion of local culture to support and preserve the alpine settlement are in planning.


Vrin was founded by settlers who came from Lumbrein in the High and Late Middle Ages . However, the origin and meaning of the place name cannot be explained convincingly. Vrin is first mentioned in 1208 or 1209 in a letter from Pope Innocent III. In the 13th century, the Chur monastery of St. Luzi had certain rights there. As a fiefdom of the diocese, Vrin ( called Varin in the documents throughout the Middle Ages ) was under the barons of Belmont until the buyout in 1538 , after 1371 by von Montalt and from 1390 by by Sax-Misox . In the 15th century, the Blenieser on this side of the Alpine ridge acquired the Alps Blengias (1447), Scharboden (1478) and Greina (1494). In 1597 Vrin broke away from the St. Vincenz valley church in Pleif ( Vella ) and thus became ecclesiastically independent.

The alpine trade and the cattle drive over the passes (first over the Greina) into the neighboring Blenio valley influenced the village community until the 19th century. In 1887 a drivable road was built to Ilanz, whereupon Vrin increasingly oriented itself economically northwards towards Ilanz / Glion . The first tourist influences in the 19th century broke the isolation of the mountain village. In modern times, the village with its originally large mountain farms had to struggle with the emigration of the young population.

Model project

The place, which had lost inhabitants over the entire 20th century, became a model project of the Pro Vrin Foundation, the municipality / municipal authority, the melioration cooperative, the cantonal monument preservation and the ETH Zurich for the strengthening of village infrastructure in the 1980s and 1990s and resettlement.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the residents bought up all of the vacant building land, thus removing the place from all speculation. Meadows were merged in a ratio of 1: 5, a butcher settled and a cooperative founded. Several buildings, most of them as log cabins made of knitted wood , were rebuilt.

The place and the project are receiving national attention, as the problem of rural exodus is significant worldwide. In 1998 Vrin received the Wakker Prize for his village renovation (“for the careful integration of new agricultural economic buildings into the village image”). The Vrin farmer's son and architect Gion A. Caminada created a number of buildings in Vrin that further develop the tradition of timber construction. Renovated or redesigned were z. B. the parish hall, the adjoining telephone booth , the butcher's and the funeral parlor below the village church.


Population development
year 1850 1900 1950 2000 2012
Residents 466 366 441 249 242

According to the 2000 census, Vrin is one of the few Graubünden towns in which practically all residents speak Romansh : 99% as the spoken language and 96% as the main language (only 4% German). The former community now lives from federal subsidies, subsidized agriculture, small businesses and tourism.


The fairy tale of the man from Salischina comes from Vrin . Arnold Büchi , the researcher of the Graubünden legend world , drew numerous legends recorded in Vrin and Lugnez in the 20th century. Evidence of Rhaeto-Romanic culture can also be found in the Chur archives of the Rhaeto-Romanic Chrestomathy .



Catholic Parish Church of Mary's Birth and Johannes Baptist

Building by Gion A. Caminada:

  • Stables, butcher's shop, 1994–2000
  • Sawmill, 2006
  • Mortuary, 2002
  • Mazlaria slaughterhouse


  • Adolf Collenberg: Vrin. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . 2016 .
  • Duri Blumenthal, Armin Caduff u. a .: Val Lumnezia cultural guide. Chur / Vella 2000.
  • Caduff Christian, Vrin. Community portrait , in: Bündner Zeitung of December 29, 1984.
  • Lechner Ernst, Dr .: Graubünden. Illustrated travel companion through the Thalschaft. Chur 1903

Web links

Commons : Vrin  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Lexicon of Swiss municipality names . Edited by the Center de Dialectologie at the University of Neuchâtel under the direction of Andres Kristol. Frauenfeld / Lausanne 2005, p. 941.
  2. Vrin - Overall development of a village ( Memento of the original from December 4, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.cipra.org archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Infoservice alpMedia (Gion A. Caminada)
  3. Exhibition on the Stiva da morts by Gion A. Caminada - consecrated to the chamber of the dead ( Memento of the original from January 10, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , ETH Life , January 15, 2003 Exhibition: Stiva da morts, Gion A. Caminada, Vrin , Institut GTA, ETH Zurich, January 16, 2003 to March 20, 2003 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.ethlife.ethz.ch
  4. Two villages - different problems ( Memento of the original from July 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Vals and Vrin), ETH Zurich, assistant prof. Gion A. Caminada , 2000 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.arch.ethz.ch
  5. ^ Catholic parish church of the Birth of Mary and Johannes Baptist
  6. stables, butcher's shop
  7. sawmill
  8. Death Chamber
  9. slaughterhouse Mazlaria