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The Ruedihus

was built by Peter Germann in 1753. It was considered the very best of the art of carpentry in the 18th century.

The paneling in the interior rooms is mostly still there and are especially fine examples of the time. The doors are covered with a special paste or decoratively painted, all the door frames are made in the baroque style and shape and the rooms are furnished with painted sideboards, dressers and chests. The crowning glory comes from the unique windows which are arranged in rows and have

Bull’s-eye panes.

It was the home of Landeswenner Peter Germann and was also the location for changing the mules which took travelers over the Gemmi. Later it became an inn. The name of the guest house probably comes from that of Rudolf Reichen  (born in about 1850) who purchased the whole property and became known in the local vernacular as “rRuedi the Rich”. In 1908 a fire broke out in the back rooms of the building. This was reported in the local newspaper “der Bund” – the following passage is an exerpt:

An unusual  entertainment in the further reaches of the Kander valley. A column of smoke rises like a candle from the valley floor. The usually sober alpine people hurtle up the valley, a sleigh with galloping horses passes by.  There’s no doubt – a massive fire. Yes, we heard correctly, the Ruedihus is in flames. The Ruedihus is, after the oldest part of the Hotel Victoria, the second oldest building in the valley and the most charming of the houses in the Kander Valley  and has been partly destroyed by the flames.  The Ruedihus was the sight most worth seeing in the whole valley. Its richly decorated façade with rows of bull’s-eye-glassed windows enthused everyone who saw it. According to an old folk legend, Peter Germann felled the wood needed to build his future home in one November night. Only so could the house be blessed and protected from all storms. This was the belief by which to Ruedihus was built in 1753.The building, as was the custom in those times was built in several parts. Doors and windows were donated. (is this what “liess man sich schenken” means?) At this time it was not unusual, in the Bernese Oberland,  for gifts of windows to be made.  Even the eaves were constructed to show that a person of consequence lived here. Therefore, carving and other ornamentation were not enough – brilliant colours had to be added.

The goose-necked slats, the pillars, the window-sills – everything was painted. That’s why the people of the valley were so shocked to hear that the Ruedihus was in flames. It was very lucky that the snow on the roof, which melted, helped to preserve the building.  In this way most of the façade, the rows of windows and even the original doors were saved from destruction.  However, the house is now just a ruin. The old stable for the Ruedihus which was been rented to summer visitors in recent times has now been adapted to provide a school for Italian children. The house itself is used as accommodation for catholic priests and the managers of the Lötschberg company. The damage is partly covered by insurance. Der Bund 12.1.1908

The village inhabitants believed that the reason that the front part of the building was spared from the flames was because some alpine leeks were placed under the doorstep of the entrance to the building. This plant was often worn under armour as a protection against deathly injuries.
The parts of the  building destroyed by the fire were rebuilt and in November 1908 a school for the children of  Italian labourers from the train tunnel was opened. The Ruedihus was also used as a guest house. We were able to purchase the house on December 21st 1990. We undertook a careful and thoughtful renovation and brought the house back to its original state but with modern comfort so that we could open it as a country Inn and restaurant with special reference to its valuable and remarkable history.  The business opened in February 1991.

We have restored the house continually over the years and in the year 2000 were honoured with the Historical Hotel Resturant of the year award. Thousands of guests have passed through our doors and we are extremely proud that over the past few years we have hosted the entire Swiss Federal Council three times! Mr. Kofi Anan, General Secretary of UNO and his wife, Charles, the Prince of Wales and the Belgian King and Queen have also been our guests.

YOU are important to us and we are very happy when you enjoy your stay here.