Simmental house path
Carpentry and facade painting at its very best
Admire the high standard of craftsmanship and magnificent facade painting on the Simmental houses and learn about the distinct features of this building culture. The signposted upper Simmental house path guides you to the most remarkable structures, which date back to the 15th century: harmonic architectural excellence.
Cultural heritage strives to preserve and maintain the face of our landscape, the jewels of our building culture – the structures that characterise the nature of the local settlement landscape. Because many of these outstanding places are located away from busy roads, these hidden gems of local building culture are made accessible to the general public with signposted trails.
The Simmental houses are an expression of great wealth, which the breeding and export of Simmental cattle (now internationally renowned) brought to the sunny mountain valley many years ago. In the 17th and 18th century, the pleasure of embellishment and the demand for all things decorative reached their peak. The facades of the residential buildings facing the valley or roads became ornamental, demonstrating the social position of the owners and the craftsmanship of the carpenters.
On most of the timber constructions, the living room level is raised on the front side and the remaining woodwork joined using a log building method. Up until the 19th century, the slightly tilted gabled roofs were tiled with wood shingles and stone. Constructional components lend themselves to embellishment. Thresholds, windowsills and trusses are carved and often painted. The areas in between facilitate a wide range of free-style painting.
Simmental house path
The Simmental house path goes from Wimmis to Boltigen.
Upper Simmental home trail
The upper Simmental house path goes from Boltigen to Lenk.
Explanations of the particular technical expressions may help in terms of understanding. Explanations from an expert will enable you to understand and learn to interpret the Simmental building culture. Contact for tours: hiking guide and architect Daniela Gerber, Tel. +41 79 376 21 79.
The house path can be discovered on foot, partly on small paved roads with little traffic and partly on nature paths, which are always well marked with brown signposts. The house path can be explored in stages.
More detailed information on the age, architecture and special features of the buildings is available at the buildings themselves, in the booklet and via the web app hauswege.ch. The booklet is available from all tourist offices in Simmental.