Politics With An Axe: Jörg Jenatsch
Jörg Jenatsch is one of the most famous as well as most controversial personalities in Grisons’ history. Our portrait shows him as a forty-year old officer serving in the French army.
Jenatsch was born in 1596 in modest circumstances yet had a remarkable career during the troubles of the Thirty Years’ War. At a time when the Three Alliances were drawn into the tensions between the European powers Jenatsch turned from being a pastor to becoming a leader of mercenaries and eventually an influential politician. During his rise, Jenatsch also switched his loyalties to different political parties if he deemed it to his advantage. He went from first serving the Venetians to working for France and eventually for Spain-Habsburg, even changing his confession from Protestant to Catholic. „By my conviction“, as he maintained. „By his calculation“, as contemporaries suspected. Pursuing his aims unscrupulously and ready to use serious violence, his own life ended in a similar vein: at carnival time in Chur in 1639, he was killed with an axe wielded by unknown assailants. His grave can be found in the Cathedral of Chur.
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