There is a girls’ home in Chur, the so-called Marienheim. It was to be demolished to make way for a new, larger home. There was a lot of talking, back and forth, because the old house had its history:
After careful consideration, the words of the founder, Father Theodosius Florentini, “The need of time is God’s will” led to the decision to rebuild. This was timely, because there were more and more girls looking for accommodation in a home. However, the original Marienheim was far too small to accommodate everyone.
In 1853 the house was built by Father Theodosius Florentini as the first Kreuzspital. At the beginning, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross Ingenbohl, Mother Maria Theresia Scherrer, a woman from Lucerne, lived here with a few sisters.
The first sisters had to live in bitter poverty so that the sick people didn’t lose anything. The average number of patients was 50-60 and for infectious diseases there were over 90 patients.
The chronicle said: “When founding the Kreuzspital, Father Theodosius Florentini was keen to ensure that the journeymen and servants’ association of the canton of Graubünden could care for its sick members under reasonable conditions”. When handing over a sick person, the journeymen’s association agreed to pay 85 centimes a day for their food and care. The servants’ association had to pay CHF 1 a day for the patient.
The costs of building the hospital, including facilities and land, were very high. Father Theodosius had no other way of paying off the huge building debt than to send his sisters on a begging trip. Since the railway was missing in some places and the post office was too expensive, people often walked for days in Switzerland and far beyond the borders.
But the hospital soon became too small and a larger building had to be considered. On 17 April 1912, the residents of the old Kreuzspital moved to the new one.
The old Kreuzspital ‘Marienheim’ would soon serve a different purpose. The house was bought by the cultural association of the Chur Diocese and then given to the girls’ protection association (later PRO FILIA). It was supposed to be a home for unemployed young girls. On 20 April 1912, the first sister superior and a sister came to the home as a cook. By 30 November 1912, around 126 people were accommodated.
On 9 September 1912, life came into the house when a kindergarten was opened. 70 little “Bündnerli” then arrived. Gradually the house became a home for female students and apprentices.
The inauguration of the Marienheim with chapel took place on 22 December 1912. Many young girls and older women found their “home” here.
In 1952 the house was bought back by the Ingenbohl Institute. The house continued to serve the same purpose.
On 6 December 1956, a new, beautiful chapel was opened by Bishop Dr. Christianus Caminada handed over to the service.
In 1974, the Marienheim was cleared out and a new building was to be built in its place in which PRO FILIA was to run a modern and urgently needed girls’ home. Unfortunately, the services of the Ingenbohler sisters had to be foregone because the motherhouse had called them home.
(Source: Eine gekürzte Geschichte über das Marienheim (A brief history of the Marienheim) by Sr. Ansberta Meier, Oberin)
The casa florentini would like to offer accommodation and meals to young people between the ages of 15 and 22 who live outside of Chur but are doing an apprenticeship, study or training at a cantonal school in the Graubünden capital. Since the foundation is self-supporting, the young people can live in Chur under relatively affordable conditions.
On 17 December 1971, the Florentini Foundation was established by the three founders, namely from the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross Ingenbohl, PRO FILIA and the Roman Catholic parish of Chur. The Evangelical Reformed Regional Church was added later.
On 6 March 1978, demolition work began on the Marienheim, built in 1853. An exchange of plots enabled the GKB to build its buildings on Gäuggelistrasse. The girls’ home with around 100 beds with a self-service restaurant and leisure rooms was built on Engadinstrasse.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Casa Florentini took place in the autumn of 1978. The financing came largely from government subsidies. In addition to the donors, numerous institutions and private individuals have also made major contributions. After almost two years of construction, the casa florentini was inaugurated on 9 August 1980.
Young people who do not live in the casa (female or male) also have the opportunity to eat cheaply in the casa. We ensure a varied and healthy diet, especially among young people.
After the demand for accommodation for young girls declined by 2000, the board of trustees opened the house to young men after approval from the canton and changes to the foundation deed. The infrastructure of the house allows all genders to be accommodated in the casa, as each room has its own bathroom and toilet and the different floors can be accessed separately.
In August 2002 the first 10 boys moved into the casa. Since then, the number has increased from year to year, so that in 2004 we already had 26 young male residents in the casa.
In 2005, the casa florentini celebrated its 25th anniversary in its current form. A big event to mark this anniversary took place on 10 September 2005. This event also gave us the opportunity to present a new logo.
The casa florentini is a private foundation, which is run by a board of trustees or a committee of the board of trustees.
The home management of the casa family:
- Fritz Andres 1980 – 1991
- Raimund Schröttenthaler family 1991 – 1998
- Ms. Brüesch 1998 – 1999
- Werner Graf family 1999 – 2000
- Rösli and Orlando Federspiel 2000 – 2014
- Karin Federspiel since 2014
When living together in the house, we seek a sensible balance between the demands of the community and individual development.
In January 2005, the casa florentini applied to the Swiss Tourism Association to achieve the Q1 seal of quality and received this in March 2006. Even though the seal of quality is no longer offered from 2022, we attach great importance to quality in-house.