Foto/Photo: www.Flü

Flüeli, Niklaus von Flüe and the Chapels

The village of Flüeli (Canton of Obwalden) is on a high plateau. Niklaus von Flüe (1417-1487) lived in this village. Contemporaries regarded him as a saint.

In 1947 he was indeed or finally canonised. His birthplace is on the estate of the von Flüe family. He built a new house where he lived for twenty years with his wife Dorothee Wyss and their ten children until he settled as hermit Bruder Klaus at the cliff’s edge (am Ranft) in 1467.

Friends built him a chapel, the Higher Ranft Chapel (Obere Ranftkapelle), and a simple cell. The chapel and the cell are open to the public in the house where he was born and lived.

After Brother Klaus’ death, the flow of pilgrims increased, and in 1501, a larger chapel, the Lower Ranft Chapel (Untere Ranftkapelle), was built. This chapel is one of Switzerland’s finest examples of late Gothic architecture. The Mösli Chapel stands on the other side of the Ranft and was built in 1484.

Another beautiful national monument in this small mountain village is the St. Borromäus (St. Borromeo) Chapel, consecrated in 1618.

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