The Prixinengasse

At the time when the village of Chur was included in the city, which was originally limited to the courtyard, and was provided with fortifications, a main focus was put on securing the gates, especially those that bordered the Plessur. The Upper Gate was provided with a "Torzwinger" (probably also a portcullis and a drawbridge); the Butcher's Gate was also secured in a similar way, the only difference being that here the local conditions made it advisable to place the Zwinger on the inner side of the gate in such a way that a large rectangular courtyard with crenellated perimeter walls and two round-arched gates on the opposite side was created.

According to the Chur plan perspective from the second half of the 16th century, this walled courtyard on the city side leaned against the corner of the Metzg house on the left, and on the right it found its continuation in the ring wall running towards the upper gate. Parallel to the latter, according to the prospectus, ran a row of buildings, probably a lane formed by a double house and stables.

The Prixinenhaus

The name "Prixinergässlein" comes from them. Here in this alley lived the family Prixin, from them comes the alley name "Prixinergässlein"[56]. In the second half of the 19th century then the name form Praximergässlein was introduced[56]. The family of the Prixin, or Brixin, whose home - according to the name - was apparently the old bishop's town of Brixen in the Tyrol, belonged, like the Köhls, to the families that immigrated to Chur in the 16th century.

The Prixinenhaus, or at least a wing of it, therefore belonged to the Köhl family from early on. In the tax book of 1629, which like all the others is arranged house by house, the II. quart contains the following tax records:

  • Prosper Prixinen his widow lb. j
  • Lucas Brixin ß. v
  • Joseph Köhl l b. jß. xv

This was Joseph Köhl (~1600-†1647), son of Arnold Köhl (1564-†~1630). Joseph married Barbara Prixin (~1600-†1658) around 1624 and probably came into possession of the house through this marriage. The family lived in this house with their 8 children.



Metzgerplatz and fountain at 1920 (StAC)


House at the Metzgertor today Arcas 3 (picture archive Markus Köhl)

Residence of Peter Köhl

In 1646 Joseph Köhl may have sold his part of the house to his brother, the gatekeeper Peter Köhl. On the entrance door one can see the Köhl coat of arms in a well stylized shield: the Lamb of God with the church flag, removed by the initials: 16. P. K. CVR. 46[56]. These initials refer to Peter Köhl (1595-†1674), who held the position of gatekeeper at the Metzgertürli since 1638 - if not earlier until 1647.

In the testament of 1672 of mayor Bernhard Köhl is mentioned that his father Peter lived in the house at Prixinengasse. Around 1690 in the parents' house of mayor Bernhard Köhl lived his son Bernhart Köhl (1661-†~1727), pastor to Haldenstein, for rent.

Johann Prixin's widow Anna also lived in the same house. Around 1685, she ceded her share of the house to the guild master Gregor Hosang under the condition that he would provide for her upkeep in the future. Perhaps an actual pledge contract had come into being between them, as such contracts often occurred at that time and were always entered in the registers of deeds.

However, Gregor Hosang had not become the sole owner of the Prixin house through his agreement with the widow of Johann Prixin, because in the already mentioned tax record of 1733, immediately after the information concerning guild master Hosang follows the "Einlag von Herr Doctor Joseph Köhl", the fourth part of the Prixin house Fr. 100. This is Joseph Köhl (1673-†1750), doctor of medicine and philosophy, son of mayor Bernhard Köhl. In 1726 and 1733 the property is also listed in his tax records. Presumably Joseph Köhl had inherited the property after the death of his father (1700). The house at 415/416 Praximergasse was thus owned by the Köhl family from about 1625 to 1750.

To this book entry an art-historical observation is correct, which everyone can make at the present house No. 415/416, 1919 in the possession of Mr. Flaschnermeister Martin Hatz.


Coat of arms above the entrance door (photo archive Markus Köhl)


56: Die Prixinengasse in Chur, Fritz Jecklin, 1919


Artikel "Die Prixinengasse in Chur" von Fritz Jecklin, Bündnerisches Monatsblatt 1919 Heft 3

Impressum und rechtliche Hinweise