Raron Parish

Project Grant Restoration Castle Church Saint Romanus

After the river Bietsch flooded its banks twice in the fifteenth century, the village church «auf dem Biel» [«on the Biel»] was so badly damaged that the inhabitants of Raron decided to rebuild the church on the castle hill to protect it from future flooding. The new parish church was built under the supervision of the well-known architect Ulrich Ruffiner between 1512 and 1518. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke knew of the beauty of the place and wished to be buried there. Especially worthy of note are the many frescos, some of which only came to light after the last complete restoration of the church in the 1970s. "Judgement Day" on the northern wall of the nave, approximately eight meters high and twelve meters wide, is one of the most monumental frescos in Switzerland. The castle church Saint Romanus has been a Swiss Heritage Site since 1966.

It has been about forty-five years since the last restoration of the church, and a new one is overdue. Water, seeping through the porous natural stone roof, has already caused damage to the masonry, plaster, and frescos.

The Foundation Board supports the long overdue restoration work with a project grant of CHF 10,000.