"Maison Heidi" sounds like the symbiosis of French hospitality and Swiss alpine flair. And that fits in two senses. Not only are both languages spoken in the Bernese Jura, but the house (maison) was last occupied by a woman named Heidi. At the request of the former owners, the foundation saved the house from permanent decay after it had been vacant for almost eighty years. The farmhouse was built in 1684 and reopened in 2022 after extensive renovation work.
The eat-in kitchen with the imposing smoking vault is the heart of the house. Meat used to be smoked here under the ceiling. This was so common in the region and so almost every family had their own "fumoir". Vaulted kitchens are the flagship of Jurassic architecture and are mostly built of limestone. You used to climb over the tiled stove through a hatch into the bedroom where the whole family slept.
Today there is plenty of room for four people in the "Maison Heidi". The modern kitchen is integrated into the old vault. The cheerful blue kitchen chairs match the stoneware and the old kitchen buffet. The bathroom has been completely renovated and is fitted with tasteful mosaic tiles in dusky pink. The designer furniture is reserved and the focus is on the unusual architecture of the building.
In summer there are various seating options in front of the house under the arbor or in the garden - including a herb and berry garden from which guests can help themselves. The house is on the edge of a small village surrounded by beautiful nature. There are no shops here, but lots of local producers.
If you like, you can take a look backstage on our blog.
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ArchitectureEverything that could be preserved was preserved during the gentle renovation. With the help of the knowledge of regional craftsmen and using regional materials, only the essentials were replaced. Despite being vacant for many years, the structure of the house was very well preserved and is therefore energy-efficient per se, since the old construction methods have always had to withstand the weather.
The caretakers commissioned by the foundation are part of the local population. In addition to saving the historic buildings, the idea behind the foundation is to bring career prospects and added value to regions that are often affected by emigration through jobs and tourism. At the beginning of their work, the caretakers are trained in the topics of building culture and introduced to the building culture history of the house. Upon arrival, guests receive a tour of the house with explanations of the construction and architecture. The "Foundation for Holidays in a Monument" was founded in 2005 to protect historic houses in Switzerland from decay, demolition or vacancy. The oldest buildings are from the early fourteenth century, the youngest house from 1933. The houses are often donations from the owners, who do not have the opportunity to rehabilitate the buildings. The foundation then collects donations and, whenever possible, looks for local architects and craftsmen who will restore and refurbish the building as true to the original as possible. The rental income from the objects rented out as holiday homes covers the running costs and guarantees the preservation of the houses. In this way, the foundation combines monument protection with sustainable tourism. In this way, not only history can be vividly experienced, but at the same time appreciation for the architecture, sustainability through the preservation of the houses and the identity of the region is conveyed. The foundation now offers over fifty objects in Switzerland that could not be more different - just as different as their exciting stories.
EnvironmentThe Maison Heide has underfloor heating, which is operated by a geothermal probe. The house is very well connected to the public transport network. It was built in 1684, which in and of itself means maximum embodied energy savings. The quality with which houses were built back then cannot be surpassed today. Therefore, the structure of the house was very well preserved despite being vacant for many years. Thanks to gentle maintenance, this will now last for centuries to come. The high-quality furnishing contributes to the fact that it is preserved for a long time despite frequent use. The waste is recycled and it is cleaned with natural detergents.
Das im Jahr 1684 erbaute Maison Heidi liegt idyllisch am Ende des Dorfes Souboz mit Ausblick auf Wiese und Wald. Die Lage ist geprägt von der Ruhe und der direkten Natur. Das Haus besteht aus einem steinernen Wohnteil und einen Ökonomieteil aus Holz.
Fotos: Gataric Fotografie
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It takes about an hour to drive from Bern to Maison Heidi (75 km). It is about 1.5 hours (116 km) from Zurich, about 2 hours (127 km) from Lausanne, about 2.5 hours (183 km) from Constance and about 4 hours (330 km) from Stuttgart. The exact address can be found on the website.
There is a bus connection from the train station in Moutoz. Note: there are no buses on Saturdays.
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