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Switzerland: Spiez church

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Spiez church | Switzerland | Europe

[Visited: July 2011]

While walking in the bay of Spiez, according to locals the most beautiful bay of the world, and looking out over tranquil Lake of Thun, we noticed the pointed spire of the church of the castle, which dominates the skyline of lakeside Spiez. A short climb took us to the entrance, and I was surprised not to find anyone here, as much of the town, as well as the castle, seemed crowded. This small church is one of the oldest of the region; part of its remarkable bell-tower might even go back to the 8th century. While the bell-tower is remarkable enough, the overall appearance of the castle church is rather modest, while its location is superb: overlooking the Lake of Thun.

Picture of Spiez church (Switzerland): Church of Spiez seen from the inside

We entered the church of Spiez, and I immediately took a liking of its basic interior. Its main structure consists of rough stones and bricks, arches, and is simply void of any overwhelming impression-making. It does have a serene atmosphere, and when we walked towards the apse, where we stood still to be able to better see the romanesque frescoes. Even though they are faded, they are still clearly visible, painted with soft pastel colours, and well lighted by the daylight coming in through the high windows.

Picture of Spiez church (Switzerland): Frescoes on the ceiling in the church of Spiez

We were far from modern Spiez here, it was like we stepped back several centuries at once, just entering this small medieval church with its thick walls. Originally erected in the 8th century, the current church was probably built in the 10th century, while the current spire was added only in the 17th century. Like other old churches around the shores of the Lake of Thun, the castle church of Spiez is a small gem, and located at a spectacular spot on the lake. Not surprisingly, it is often used for weddings of locals. Since it was not possible to visit either the crypt, or the bell-tower, we exited the church, stepped back in the 21st century, and saw other people again. We carried the serene feeling of our short visit to the church of Spiez with us on our walk through the Swiss town.

Picture of Spiez church (Switzerland): The lake of Thun with the castle of Spiez and its church on the right hand side
Picture of Spiez church (Switzerland): The church of Spiez with the lake of Thun in the background
Picture of Spiez church (Switzerland): The bell-tower of the Spiez church has a typical pointed shape, often found in churches in this region

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