St. Gingolph, La Sainte-Famille. Photo/Foto: TES.

The Chapel of St. Gingolph

The chapel of the Holy Family (la Sainte-Famille) in St. Gingolph (canton Wallis) dates from 1677. It was the chapel of the nearby castle (from 1588). It was built by order of the castle lord Jacques von Rietmatten. Its decoration and elegant arcades recall the  Baroque era. It replaced the old chapel that had stood there for centuries. St. Gingolph fell under the reign of the Republic of the Seven Zenden (communities). The Republique existed from 1628 to 1798  (La République des Sept-Dizains/Republik der Sieben Zenden) of Upper-Valais (Brique (Brig), Sion (Sitten), Sierre (Siders), Conge (Goms), Loèche (Leuk), Rarogne (Raron), and Viège (Visp). This (complicated) history of Valais is mentioned under Local History and The Middle Ages of the Swiss Spectator. St. Gingolph fell under Lower-Valais, which was subject to Haut-Valais. That is why the chapel bears a strong resemblance to the chapel of St. George in Sion from 1672. Sion was not only the bishopric but also the capital of the republic (dissolved in 1798 after the French invasion).