Magdalena Hermitage

A few years ago my parents decided to move away from my hometown and buy a mobile home in a nice trailer park (called Camping in Switzerland) by a lake about 35 miles further west. The lake is long and thin, man-made by damming off a valley back in the 60’s. Nestled in one of it’s steep sandstone banks is a small Hermitage with religious background, that was dug out by two hermits back in the 1700’s. It is called the Magdalena Einsiedelei in Düdingen, Switzerland (Einsiedelei means Hermitage). It is one of my favorite places to visit every time I go home to Switzerland. The setting is quite magical with a slight sense of being haunted (which it probably is, one of the latter hermits was murdered there). The last hermit left in 1967 and the cave has since been uninhabited.

The nearby community still has services for special Catholic holidays in it’s cave chapel. I love to come and just sit, think and feel the place. It is hard for me to imagine that someone once lived in those caves alone, which is very fascinating to me. Hermits are masters of Solitude! Last time I went I tried to take some pictures. Here are the ones that came out okay.

dsc_0035-1One of the hermits carved figures into the sandstone walls. The length of the hermitage made from several caves is about 390 feet (120 meters). It has its own water source.dsc_0034-2The floor of the main cave are actually fossilized sand dunes that are approximately 20 Million years old!dsc_0038-2The modest cave chapel where the local catholic church still holds services on special holidays like Easter. The only light source are the windows along the west wall of the cave.dsc_0042A beautiful stained glass window in the chapel.



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