The Kuèrc square has always been the beating heart of the town and has been the seat of the most important civil and religious buildings in Bormio for centuries.
The Kuèrc (lid), as documented since 1387, was the place where justice was administered during the summer months. The Kuèrc was flanked by the pillory, a stone seat on which criminals were exposed to public mockery, including, above all, blasphemers.
The current building, still located in the center of the square today, is the result of continuous alterations and renovations that have taken place over the centuries as a result of fires and natural disasters.
As for the square itself, following excavations carried out in the last fifty years, the remains of houses, walkways and surrounding walls dating back to the early Iron Age (1000 BC) have been unearthed.
Over the course of its long history, the square has undergone an innumerable series of transformations and extensions that today can be partially reconstructed thanks to some important documents present in the rich municipal archive of Bormio.
From the “Liber stratatorum” of 1304 (a sort of master plan of the time) we know for example that in the Middle Ages the square was narrower and at a lower altitude than it is today. Following a catastrophic flow of mud and debris detached from Mount Reit, the same square was rebuilt on a higher level. Even today, in memory of those events, this district of Bormio is called “Dossorovina”.
An inventory drawn up in 1553 describes all the buildings overlooking the square in the sixteenth century fairly accurately. From this precious document it is clear that the most important building was the Palatium (current seat of the “Comunità Montana Alta Valtellina”). In addition to being the “Palazzo del Podestà” (authority house), the Palatium was also the seat of the court, the school, and the hall where the seated Council met (a small group of representatives of the people appointed to the ordinary administration of the county and to the exercise of criminal justice). In the Palatium there was also the Marza, an underground room without doors or windows intended for the confinement of the most dangerous offenders, a room which could only be accessed through a trap door.
Opposite the Palatium there was the Cortivo where the People’s Council met to decide on matters of greater public importance. The People’s Council was also responsible for exercising legislative power.
Another undisputed symbol of the main square of Bormio is the collegiate church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio. The town’s main church building was rebuilt, along with many buildings in the village, which were destroyed following the terrible fire of 1621 set by the Spaniards.
On the other hand, the imposing Tower of the Hours, whose construction began in 1498, watches over the square. The tower was equipped with two bells that rang to warn the population in case of impending dangers (the Bajona) or to convene meetings of the magistrates (the Campana de consilio).
Other important buildings and other stories deserve to be told but it would be impossible for us to sum up a thousand years of intense and sometimes complicated history in a just a few lines.
Now we can only suggest visiting the square and looking up at the valuable works that make this place the symbol of a unique village in the rich history, art and culture of the entire Alps.
Enjoy discovering Bormio and its hidden pearls!
Stefano and all the staff of Albergo Adele
In Kuèrc square and its surroundings there are numerous frescoes from the Renaissance period.
Of particular historical value are also the frescoed coats of arms of the Three Leagues alliance and of the Sforza.
Geographic coordinates of the location: 46°28’03.89” N 10°22’38.68’’ E – UTM 32T 605753 5146941
Excursion near the location: Passeggiata del benessere, dell’arte e della cultura.
Sources: CMAV information signs
Proofreading: Dott. Eugenio Rossetti and Paul Faller