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Churches and Chapels in Zermatt Part 1

Summer is right around the corner and it is starting to be a wonderful weather to go hiking in Zermatt. Hiking up to the churches and chapels in Zermatt is one way to enjoy your stay in Zermatt. Whether you want to pray or explore the beautiful  structure of the buildings with the amazing view of the alpine mountains, there are many churches and chapels around Zermatt. If you’re planning a wedding around Zermatt, you might find the perfect church or chapels.

Furi prayer house or Schmerzhafte Muttergottes is a small prayer house standing in the hamlet of Furi beside a small group of old buildings and surrounded by alpine pastures. In former times, mule drivers would stop here before they ventured south over the Theodul Pass. The prayer house of Furi stands on the old mule trail from Zermatt over the Theodul Pass, some way outside the hamlet of Furi at an altitude of about 1900 meters. It was built in 1747 by three brothers from the Furrer family. Their initials M.M.F, J.F, and P.J.F can be seen on the old choir grille. It is a small baroque building, not officially a chapel, and normally masses may not be held here. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, and the patron’s feast day is on Friday before Holy Week. An impressive Pieta or Jesus being removed from the Cross, adorns the altar. The nimbus and sword have since disappeared. Part of the old baldachin has been attached to the altar as the antependium or a textile hanging in front of or on the sides of an altar, and the choir is protected by a wrought iron choir grille. The four beautiful colored windows by Marion Cartier were given to the chapel during renovation in 1986. They show Mary at the prophesy of Simeon (choir), Mary on the flight into Egypt (nave), Mary meeting Jesus carrying the Cross (right of the doors), and John below the Cross (left of the doors). The ceilings and the doors are new, also from 1986. If you want to look inside the key is available from the church office in the village.

church 1 (2)

Trift chapel is simple, small prayer house at Trift above Zermatt which lies at 2340 meters by the hotel. It reflects the religious conviction of the people who spend day after day in the mountains. This small, whitewashed prayer house in honor of the Holy Mother of God was built in 1902 by Peter Aufdenblatten. It has no bell tower, just a simple iron cross over the entrance. It is currently still in the ownership of the descendants of the Aufdenblatten family. The original altarpiece, Mary with the Child Jesus, was painted by Hans Beat Wieland in 1905 and was donated to the Trift chapel. The altar painting now decorating the chancel is a copy of the Madonna of the Rose Bower by Stefan Lochner of Cologne. The stained glass windows date back to the time of the last restoration in the 1980s. Even though it is a small chapel, it is absolutely beautiful with mountain panorama and alpine flora surroundings. If you’re lucky, you might even see wildlife such as chamois eating the delicious green grass.