Chur (kōr) [key], Fr. Coire, Romansh Cuera, city (1990 pop. 30,236), capital of Grisons canton, E Switzerland, on the Plessur River. Chur is an important transportation junction near the Rhine Valley. Chur's main industry is tourism, but it is also an important trading center for wines and synthetic ammonia. Chur was capital of the Roman province of Rhaetia. In the 5th cent. it became an episcopal see; the bishops were later made princes of the Holy Roman Empire. The temporal power of the prince-bishops was limited (c.1465) by the townspeople and later, when the Reformation was accepted (1524–26), ended altogether. The modern inhabitants are a mix of Roman Catholic and Protestant. Outstanding buildings are a restored 8th-century church, the Renaissance episcopal palace, the cathedral (begun 12th cent.), and the Rhaetian Museum (of folklore). Most of the inhabitants speak German, but there are Romansh- and Italian-speaking minorities. The Swiss painter Angelica Kauffmann was born in Chur.
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