Local History

Villa Carisch, Riom, Maquette Grand Riom Palace. Photo/Foto: TES.

Grand Riom Palace in Villa Carisch

Hotel Waldhaus in Sils (canton  Graubünden) was built in 1908. The guests appreciated the view of Lake Sils, the Maloja pass, the mountains, and the valley. Many famous guests, writers, movie stars, politicians, artists and aristocrats visited the hotel to see and to be seen. It was the time of the booming Spa, health industry, and winter and summer tourism.

Many Grand Hotels can still be admired, with the same function, abandoned or with other destinations. They have in common that they were built in small villages with a few hundred inhabitants.

The failures and never realised dreams are less known. The small village of Riom exhibits in Villa Carisch the dream of the Grand Riom Palace. The maquette shows the architecture of what could have been.

Charles Laurent Carisch (1882-1914), a grandson of Johannes Jacob Carisch (1820-1906), inherited from his father Charles Auguste Carisch (1851-1906) the fortune which Johannes had made as the owner of restaurants in Paris.

Scuol, Tarasp, St. Moritz, Sils and Davos were similar villages at the beginning of the tourism boom.  Charles Laurent had the vision, the architect and the money, but then came the First World War.

He died as a French soldier in 1914, and with him died the dream of the Grand Riom Palace in Riom.

(Further information: www.origen.ch).