The old Bellwald Foundation has developed into an institution that Bellwald can no longer be imagined without. Thanks to the support of the population, the major tasks are somewhat easier to manage.


Bellwald changed from a mountain farming village to a tourist resort, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. This relatively rapid change destroyed many valuable old structures. Agricultural farm buildings lost their original function and were changed or converted into holiday homes.

Some of these changes and alterations were poorly executed. Old alleys were levelled and the traditional walls and bushes along these paths were removed, in addition water conduits and streams were put into pipes. All these measures permanently changed the village appearance of Bellwald and its hamlets.

For this reason, a group of like-minded people got together in 1983 and founded the Foundation for Old Bellwald. The foundation set itself the goal of preserving old buildings, keeping farm buildings in their original form as much as possible and ensuring that conversions are carried out with the necessary care and consideration.

These tasks were extremely difficult, as they occurred in the middle of the expansion and development phase of the holiday resort of Bellwald. Any extension of a stable, a barn or a storehouse and any enclosure of a stream or the levelling of a path was seen as a sign of progress and positive change. The "old junk" of the time was gladly given away to the Chorbeni. Many a piece of furniture stands restored in a feudal home today.

Any influence on building projects was seen as unwelcome interference and the short-term material interests of the individual building owners were paramount. Despite some minor and major setbacks, the foundation nevertheless gained more and more importance and support both among the local population and among guests.

Due to its rural past, Bellwald has an extremely interesting village appearance. Residential houses in combination with old agricultural buildings are cultural witnesses of bygone days and radiate warmth and security. The old lanes and squares convey an image of harmony and peace. The many widely scattered stables and huts on the Bellwald mountain are an enrichment of the cultural area from the Lamma to the Finsteraarhorn. Many of these buildings have fallen victim to the ravages of time - worthy of mention here are, among others, around three dozen buildings on Alpe Richinen, stable barn and hut in Aspi, and several stables and huts on Eggebiel.

The special architecture is an important tourist asset for the holiday resort of Bellwald. This is also evident from the great interest of our guests in these witnesses of past eras: an interest that should actually flatter us Bellwalder - because it is also an interest in us, in our roots. This interest is likely to increase in the future, as intangible values such as culture and warmth are becoming more and more important.

The work of the foundation must therefore be seen holistically. Actions such as helping financially to remove the old tin roofs were therefore only individual small steps. The main interest was in the entire object, taking into account its location.

It is by no means the intention of those involved to turn Bellwald and its hamlets into a large-scale museum. Rather, the aim is to unite past, present and future in such a way that a lively village remains - a development that has unfortunately tended to go in the opposite direction in recent decades. Favoured by various conversions within the village, the actual village zone has been strongly devalued as a living space, as these properties are only used as second homes and thus stand empty for most of the year. We are therefore glad that is breathing life back into the old Mättelti part of the village with the artist's studio in the Kirchenstadel.

 The purpose of the old Bellwald Foundation is therefore not only to preserve the old, but rather to create something new and lively without destroying the old. The creation and preservation of quality of life and living will lead to success in the long term.

Landscape structures


Bellwald extends over a large municipal area and is highly urbanised. This urban sprawl is a result of Bellwald's economic past. In addition to many traditions and peculiarities, a ramified network of paths and alleys and an elaborate system of irrigation systems developed. 

These lanes and paths were often converted into roads for the development of building land. Water conduits atrophied and streams were increasingly piped into the building area. The traditional image of the surroundings of the actual residential centres has thus been increasingly destroyed. Who, for example, still knows the Gibuweg today?

It is no longer possible today, nor does it make sense, to restore all these old structures. In some areas, however, it is certainly desirable that alleys be restored and streams and other bodies of water be allowed to flow freely again, or at least not be further atrophied or enclosed.


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