Local History

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

Grand Riom Palace in Villa Carisch

Hotel Walhaus in Sils (canton  Graubünden) was built in 1908. The view of Lake Sils and the Maloja pass, the mountains, and the valley were valued by the guests.

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- and health industry and winter- and summer tourism.

Many other hotels were built all over the canton. Many Grand Hotels can still be admired, with the same function, abandoned and for other purposes. 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 or 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).