Wednesday, October 27

After the Matterhorn

Some people decided to join Joe to climb up a path to where there were said to be some old barns that could be photographed with the Matterhorn in the background. Since I don't care much for old barns, I decided to photograph around Zermatt.

I went to the beautiful church, and while photographing its exterior, saw the grumpy nun who threw Marilyn out yesterday. She was cleaning again and came out to shake her mop. I waited a while, then went around, and entered by the front door, just in time to see the grumpy nun leave by another side door. I set up my camera and tripod as fast as I could, and began photographing to get as much as possible before she would return to throw me out too.

Later, I inquired on-line and received the following information about the church:


She has been sketched by the architect Adolph Gaudy. She was built in 1913 under Minister Johann Bittel.


1 The baroque high altar was constructed approx. 1750 by an altar farmer from the Goms. Are shown: of hl. Maurizius, the bishops Niklaus (on the right) and Theodul (on the left), hl. Josef and hl. Ignatius. The founder's coat of arms reminds of the bishop Johann-Josef Blatter (1684-1752).

2 The heart Jesus' altar on the right side was built in 1736 by Johann Ritz from Selkingen. With the renovation of 1980 he was complemented with a copy of Christ Statue from the church Glis. Are shown: the evangelists Matthew (on the right) and Johannes (on the left), Antonius von Padua (on the right), Jakobus (on the left) and hl. Family on the run to Egypt.

3 The mother's of God altar on the left side of the church was initiated in 1736; he comes from an unknown Walliser master. Are shown: hl. Mrs. Agatha (on the right) and Apollonia (on the left); in the upper floor Katharina (on the right) and Barbara (on the left).

4 The representation of the baptism of man with the apostle's princes earns special mention.


The Zelebrationsaltar and the lights created Theo Imboden from Täsch in 1980.


With the renovation of 1980 the cover painting was created by the young Florentine painter Paolo Parente. It moves the Noah's ark into our time. In the choir four evangelists are illustrated in the liturgical colors. The Verkündigunsszene and biblical figures decorate the choral curve.


She is from Hans J. Füglister in 1981 been built. She is mechanically and counts 25 registers, distributes to two manuals and the pedal.

The denomination: Roman-Catholic Church

Someone in the Zermatt Chamber of Commerce (or its Swiss equivalent) did her best to translate from the German information. Most of the information can be figured out, except that the answer to my first question is missing: What is the name of the church? In search of the name of the church, I inspected the cornerstone and guessed that the writing said "Saint Maurice". After walking a couple hundred feet away, I suddenly realized that I had left my tripod set up in the church! Hurrying back, I was relieved to find it still set up exactly where I had left it! Only a few other nuns were still praying in the church.

Not far away were the very old huts, mazots, originally used as storehouses for grain. They are kept in their original condition to add atmosphere to the town. They are unique because they are built on a base called "mushroom piles." The "mushroom piles" are wood with a stone slab upon which the small barn is supported, and are designed to keep mice out of the barn. In summer, window boxes filled with flowers decorate these storehouses. The flowers were gone now, as it was almost winter.

Back at the chalet, I photographed the Matterhorn again with a chalet in the foreground. Its window boxes of flowers were gone, however.

Lunch was scheduled for noon, and people arrived back in small groups, comparing what they had seen and photographed.

Our bags were once again loaded into electric taxis, and again I was fortunate to get a ride down as part of the baggage, and glad to do so. I was sorry to leave. It was such a nice sunny, bright day!

The train ride to Tasch was short, and our luggage was loaded onto our bus, where ever-patient Walter was waiting for us.

We drove south to the town of Visp where we turned east. The larches had turned to gold by now and there were golden mountainsides along our way. I tried again to catch the beauty of the scenery through the bus window, but found it better to try to photograph through the front window. The scenery flies past quickly at 82 kilometers/hour.

Along the way we saw Army bunkers which hid warplanes during World War II. Now they look like ordinary hills.

We also passed the Rhonda Landslide, which happened twice, during the 50's and the 70's. It blocked the valley entirely, and is still very evident.

Our original plans called for a photo shoot at the Castle of Chillon on Lake Geneva, but the clouds had moved in, and the light was so poor, our pictures could not have come out.

We continued along the shore of Lake Geneva to Geneva itself. After checking in again at the Holiday Inn Airport Express, we walked over to the restaurant connected to the Casino. Once again we had a good dinner, but it seemed that we had just finished our get-acquainted dinner a short time ago. We all sang "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" as we presented José with the money we had collected for him. He really did an excellent job for us, and saved many a crisis with his ability to communicate with everyone in different languages.

We were all leaving for homes the next day on different flights. I found it surprising that no one else was flying Continental to Newark with us.