The largest granary in the upper valais

In the middle of Zermatt, not far from the church, stands the largest granary for miles around.

Granaries are usually small buildings and there are many which are only three to four metres wide. Farming families didn't have enough food and items of value to warrant larger buildings.

Instead of constructing lots of small buildings, fifteen owners joined forces in 1853 and built one huge granary It is 14.8 m wide and 3.7 m deep. This large-scale solution not only saves on building costs, but also uses less building land, which was in short supply in the village.

The compact wooden structure rests on 14 stone slabs, which in turn rest on masonry supports. The stone slabs prevent mice and other rodents from entering the granary, but also serve as a support for the heavy structure. The free space between the wooden and masonry parts serves as ventilation and prevents moisture from entering the granary. The lower masonry part of the building is divided into stables for small livestock.

The granaries were used for storing food such as dried meat and sausage. Grain was stored in bins and rye bread on specially-made bread stands. They functioned a bit like fridges and freezers today – if they were empty, you’d go hungry! As well as food and clothing, tools and even important documents were stored there.

freely accessible / always open



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