St. Michael´s Church Meiringen
The first construction of the church of St. Michael in Meiringen dates back to the 9th century. Until 1722 it remained the only parish church in the Haslital and its history reflects the permanent battle against the water and mud catastrophes caused by three torrents of three streams nearby, the Alpbach, the Dorfbach and the Mühlebach. On numerous occasions they filled the church with water, rubble and mud. In today´s building there is evidence of at least seven mudslides. The church was constantly extended and enlarged however. The Romanesque extensions of the 11th and 12th centuries and the wall paintings of the 13th century survived at least one mud catastrophe in the late 13th century. The church was passed to the monastery of Interlaken in 1272. In the time shortly before the Reformation of the church in 1528, there was an extensive late-Gothic expansion of the church. In 1683 today´s beautiful wooden vault on six unique massive pairs of wooden columns were created. Following two torrent catastrophes in 1733 and 1762, the whole interior had to be renovated and this is the present-day situation, except for some minor restorations in the 20th century. The Romanesque bell tower was constructed in the 13 century as a free standing building beside the church, similar to an Italian campanile. For Dutch eyes only: one of the tombs in the graveyard carries the name of Johanna Hendrika Kuyper-Schaaij1842-1899), wife of the Dutch Prime Minister Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920). God’s ways are unfathomable. (Source and further information: www.be.ch/archaeologie).