The chapel of Zum See, the newest of Zermatt’s chapels, is dedicated to St Barbara. The small chapel is located by the hamlet of Zum See, whose name means “by the lake” – but there is no lake here, just lush alpine pastures and small patches of forest.
The hamlet of Zum See, at about 1,750 m, has been inhabited for around eight months a year since time immemorial, yet it was the only hamlet that had no chapel. Its inhabitants had long wanted to erect a house of God here; in 1962, the residents declared themselves ready to make their assistance and their funds available. Construction began in 1963; the chapel was consecrated on 5 July 1964, and donated to the parish of Zermatt free of debt by the working group.
St Barbara protects the faithful from storms The chapel is dedicated to St Barbara, said to protect the faithful from storms and sudden death. It is a block structure in the style of chapels from the 17th/18th centuries, with a recessed, somewhat extended choir. The chapel was built to a design by the Basel architect Hermann Dietrich. The stained-glass windows are by the Valais artist Paul Monnier: the Virgin Mary, St Catharine and St Rita are depicted in yellow-red-brown tones on the left side, and St Joseph, St Wendelin and St Augustine in blue-green colours on the right. A simple granite table serves as the altar. A painting of the chapel’s patron saint hangs from the back wall. Two wrought-iron grilles separate the choir from the sacristy behind.
If chapel is closed: key available from the Restaurant Zum See
Located by the hiking trails and pistes
Wide variety of alpine flowers
At twilight: wildlife may appear (roe deer, red deer)