Bosco Gurin and the Walser
3 November 2023
The inhabitants of Canton Tessin speak Italian. All the inhabitants? About 70 descendants of German-speaking Walser live in the village of Bosco Gurin. The village was first mentioned in documents in 1253. The inhabitants mostly speak the German dialect Ggurijnartitsch (Gurinerdeutsch).
Bosco Gurin (1 506 m.) is located in a side valley of the Maggia Valley at the end of the Kantonsstrasse. Despite several devastating avalanches in 1695 and 1749, the village still has several authentic, centuries-old Walser houses, grain stores, cattle stables and hay storage (Gabumdschi).
The Walserhaus Museum displays Walser culture and lifestyle in Gurinerdeutsch, Italian and Hochdeutsch. The Walser culture, living and working environment and their emigration in the 13th and 14th centuries from Piedmont and Valais are also covered. The museum is housed in one of the oldest wooden complexes, built in 1386, in Switzerland.
The organisation Pro Specie Rara maintains the garden in front of the museum. The garden shows crops, herbs and plants that Walser used to grow for consumption.
The church, dedicated to the Saints James and Christopher, dates back to 1253. The church underwent several changes until 1945, but several authentic details have been preserved. The annual procession for the patron saints and Saint Saint Theodor, also the patron saint of the canton of Valais, takes place on 25 July.
(Source and further information: Comune Bosco Gurin)