Three Leagues

The Three Leagues were a free state on the territory of the canton of Graubünden ( Switzerland ), which was created in the 14th and 15th century and existed until the collapse of the Old Swiss Confederacy in 1798.

The three sub- states were:

  • Gotteshausbund
  • Upper or Grey League
  • Ten Jurisdictions


The Gotteshausbund was closed on January 29, 1367 in Chur with the aim to prevent a creeping takeover of the diocese of Chur by the House of Habsburg. This responded episcopal subjects, the so-called church people, about the attempt by Bishop Peter Jelito to transfer all his possessions against a pension to Habsburg. Was signed with the certificate by emissaries of the cathedral chapter, the episcopal ministry officials, the city of Chur and the episcopal courts Domleschg, Shams, Above stone, Upper Engadine, Lower Engadine and Bergell. Later, other dishes included in, for example, in 1408 the Poschiavo and in 1450, the four villages. Lower Engadine, Munster and upper Vinschgau were long disputed between the County of Tyrol and the Diocese of Chur. While the first two the rule of the Habsburgs could shake as Count of Tyrol, retired in 1618, the Court Untercalven as the last part of the Vinschgau from the Gotteshausbund from. Capital of the Federal House of God was the city of Chur.

The Gotteshausbund consisted of eleven high courts:

  • Chur
  • Bergell: Courts upper and lower Porta
  • Calven: Courts upper ( Munster ) and Untercalven ( Obervinschgau )
  • Domleschg: Courts Ortenstein (since 1788 divided: Ortenstein in soil and mountain) and Fuerstenau
  • Greifenstein: Courts Berguen Obervaz
  • Upper Engadine: (since 1438 divided ) Courts Sur and Suot Funtauna Merla
  • Above Stone: Courts Above stone and deep Castel
  • Poschiavo (Poschiavo )
  • Remüs - Stalla -averse: Courts Remüs and Stalla ( Bivio ) Avers
  • Lower Engadine: Courts upper and Untertasna
  • Four villages

Upper or Grey League

Called The Upper federal, Grauer Bund (Romansh Ligia / Lia Grisha, rare La Grisha ), was in response to numerous feuds and turf wars between the noble families Belmont, Sax - Misox, Rhazuns, Vaz, Will Berg, the Disentis Monastery and the Bishop of Chur. 1424 existing alliances between individual nobles and their subjects in Trun were extended as Upper or Grey League in perpetuity since 1395. The highest office in the federal land was that of the judge, who were each elected every two years. The coat of arms of the 72 provincial judge the Grey League are held in the hall of the provincial judge Cuort Ligia Grisha.

The covenant sworn in Trun on March 16, 1424 under the maple of Trun the abbot and the court Disentis, Baron Hans Brun of Rhazuns for himself, his reign Rhazuns and the communities Safien, Tenna and Obersaxen, Hans von Sax Misox for themselves and the courts Ilanz, Gruob, Damphreux, Vals, Castrisch and Flims, the Count of becoming mountain Heiligenberg with all his subjects as well as the courts Trins and Tamins, the outdoors of Laax and the municipalities in the Rheinwald and Shams. Even before 1440 occurred in the reigns Lowenberg, Thusis Tschappina and Heinz mountain, where the Earl of Werdenberg -Sargans had originally prohibited accession. 1441 joined the monastery at Cazis, 1480, the neighborhoods Mesocco and Soazza in Misox and 1496 as the last of the Earl of Misox, Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, with the courts Misox and Calanca. Capital of the Grey League was Ilanz. 1778, the federal government was last renewed in 1798, he went under as part of the old Free State of the Three Leagues.

The upper collar consisted of eight high courts:

  • Disentis
  • Damphreux: Courts Damphreux and Vals
  • Gruob: Courts Gruob, Schleuis and Tenna
  • Waltensburg: Courts Waltensburg, Laax and Obersaxen
  • Rhazuns: Courts Rhäzuns, Hohentrins and Flims
  • Shams - Rheinwald: Courts Rheinwald and Shams
  • Thusis: Courts Thusis, Heinz Berg, Tschappina and Safien
  • Misox: Courts Misox, Roveredo and Calanca

Coat Grey League, variant 2

House Cuort in Trun

Zillis - coat of arms of the Three Leagues of 1608

Coat of Arms of the Three Leagues at a house in Valchava

Ten Jurisdictions

After the extinction of the Counts of Toggenburg whose subjects included in today Grisons on June 8, 1436 a covenant, which provided for mutual aid and eternal inseparability of the participants. Involved were the Ten Jurisdictions Belfort, Davos, Klosters, Castel, Schiers, Schanfigg (St. Peter ), long meadow, Strassberg ( Churwalden ) Maienfeld (city and castle) and Neu- Aspermont ( High jurisdiction over Jenin and Malan ). Capital of the Federal was the stains Davos. Also, this alliance was directed chiefly against the expansion of the Habsburgs to the Grisons.

The Ten Jurisdictions consisted of seven high courts:

  • Davos -Arosa
  • Klosters: dishes monastery Heart and Ausserschnitz
  • Castel: ( since 1622 divided ) Courts Luzein and Jenaz
  • Schiers - Buchen: (since 1679 divided ) Courts Schiers and Buchen
  • Maienfeld: Courts Maienfeld and Malan
  • Belfort: Dishes Churchill and Walden ( divided since 1613 ) Intra - and off- Belfort
  • Schanfigg: Courts St. Peter ( Ausserschanfigg ) and long meadow


At the 2160 m high Dreibündenstein, in alpine areas of the municipalities Domat / Ems, Scheid and Malix, is the common boundary point of the Rhaetian three frets. The landmark dating from 1722 is now in the Rhaetian Museum in Chur. In 1915, he was replaced by the Section Raetia of the Swiss Alpine Club by a two-meter high obelisk.

Other areas and subjects landing

Not to the Three Leagues were the free dominions Haldenstein and Scuol. Lords of the reign Rhazuns were in 1497, the Habsburgs, but the court Rhazuns remained in the Grey waistband.

Since 1497/98 the Three Leagues were connected as part Turned places with the Confederation. In the Mailänderkriegen 1512 succeeded the conquest of Worms ( Bormio ), Valtellina ( Valtellina ) and the County Cleven ( Chiavenna: Val San Giacomo and Valchiavenna ) as a common subject territories. These valleys were lost again in 1797 and today belong to Italy. A special case was the Grisons rule, which was acquired in 1509 by the Three Leagues as another common rule. The membership of the courts Maienfeld and New Aspermont in the Ten Jurisdictions remained there, so that the inhabitants were simultaneously subjects and masters of themselves.


Main article: History of the Canton Graubünden

The three closed in the years 1367, 1424 and 1436 frets first worked together informally, so about 1450 in Schamserfehde. Since 1461 joint meetings of all three messengers frets are occupied. The closer association should have in 1471 Vazerol, a hamlet, held in the municipality of Brienz / Brinzauls; but an explicit documentary evidence of that is lacking. The alliance of the Grey League with the Ten court covenant was 1471. According to the 1499 made ​​de facto separation of the Rhaetian State of the Holy Roman Empire, it evolved in the 16th century to create a political structure that was unique in early modern Europe. In the early 17th century he was the only territorial state in Europe that made the communalism to the single principle of justification. The Bünder communities founded, governed and defended their free state because of the principle of the Commune as use cooperative.

The Federal Charter of 23 September 1524 valid until the dissolution of the Free State Constitution was created. Highest power in the state was the Bundstag, which was composed of 66 members of the court community. The Bund Days took place in Ilanz, Chur and Davos alternately. According to modern standards, the Three Leagues are more likely to be considered for confederation as a federal state: the total state as such had few skills, and virtually all matters of state were decided " referendum " of the court communities.