The oldest timber building of Central Europe, built in 1176, the Nideröst house in Schwyz.

Restore on the spot:

Schwyz:  Care of monuments vs. moving the Nideröst house.


The oldest timber building of Central Europe, the Nideröst house in Schwyz, must be restored on the spot.  This is the conclusion the Swiss federal commission came to with the Care of Monuments (EKD) in its evaluation.

The owner wants to tear down the over 800 year old, protected house.  There is a lot of rot and decay of the structure, he argues.  Swiss preservation of regional tradition (SHS), pro Patria and the EKD disagree.  The house can be reconditioned without excessive expenditure.  The decision rested with the Swiss government. 

Disputed proposal for compromise

On Monday, a proposal for compromise failed, because of resistance from conservationists.  The government's idea was to move the building with financial support of SHS and Pro-Patria.  A scientific investigation revealed that in the 17th century, the house had already been moved. Yesterday, the SHS and Pro-Patria voiced their no to this suggestion.  A move of the house would damage it, the historical certification committee writes.  A new location would not be historically accurate.  The two organizations based their opinion solely on the study by the EKD.  They warn not to divide the building.  Individual beams, as well as the whole structure would be seriously damaged.  All the restoration on this medieval house of national and historical importance must be done in place, writes the EKD.

Update:  The Nideröst house was dismantled and placed into storage.  There is a plan to erect it in a historic area of Schwyz near the Reding house.  Unfortunately, there also seems to be some resistance to this idea.  At this time (October 2002) the Nideröst house remains in storage.  If you would like to see another house of the same style from the same period, the Bethlehem house is open for tours.