For the High Society – The Parlour in the Palazzo Castelmur

The “gute Stube” meaning good or best parlour is a typical feature of old houses in the Romansh-speaking Engadin, were the “gute Stube” is also known as “Stüva” and traditionally lined with Swiss stone pine. A feature very similar to the “Stüva” can be found in the nearby, Italian-speaking Val Bregaglia: here too, the "Stüa" was probably the most familiar and cosy space in the house.

However, the Val Bregaglia is not only home to best parlours, there is also a magnificent salon waiting to be admired. And, moreover, this salon is located in what might be called a confectioner's castle; the Palazzo Castelmur near Stampa, which is reminiscent of stately Venetian buildings. The Palazzo was in fact built by a confectioner: Giovanni de Castelmur, who – like his father – ran a confectioner’s shop in Marseille and became immensely wealthy. The Palazzo is testimony to this wealth – as well as to the family’s roots in the Val Bregaglia, since an old patrician house dating from 1723 is integrated into the neo-Gothic palazzo built in the middle of the 19th century. Thus, viewed from the south, a neo-Gothic castle with low battlements can be seen, and from the north a stately, saddle-roofed house, which is more typical of the area.

Its interior is even more impressive: the rooms are decorated with magnificent ceiling paintings, wallpaper and furniture in the Rococo and Biedermeier styles. The salon almost seems to be waiting for high society. The older building's rooms appear somewhat simpler: here, as in the good old parlours, wood predominates.

Image: © Andrea Badrutt

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