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Mogno - Mario Botta's Mountain Church





St. Carlo Robei

St. Carlo Robei

Webcam Sonnenberg 2400 m.s.l.m.

Webcam Sonnenberg 2400 m.s.l.m.

Seen from outside, the building is elliptical in shape, with a slanting roof and black and white stripes. The interior has a dizzying checkerboard design in the same colors. This is the church that was designed by the well-known architect, Mario Botta - the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista at Fusio.

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Mogno is a small hamlet in the Maggia Valley (Val Lavizzara) at 1,180 m, which has only been used as a Maiensäss (assembly of houses in the mountains used during the cattle grazing period) since the 19th century. In 1986 an avalanche destroyed the church and about a dozen houses that were fortunately uninhabited. In the 1990s the Ticinese architect rebuilt the small church, which is dedicated to John the Baptist.

The innovative building made from alternating layers of native Peccia marble and Vallemaggia granite was extremely controversial, but eventually became a landmark that is known far beyond the borders of Switzerland. The church has no windows, and the interior (which seats about 15 people) is only illuminated by natural light streaming in through the glass roof.

The chapel is not to be confused with Capella Santa Maria degli Angeli on Monte Tamaro, which was also designed by Mario Botta.


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