Interesting facts 

Rainer Maria Rilke and Raron

The lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke, born in Prague in 1875, visited before the First World War many parts of Europe: he had lived in the artists' colony in Worpswede in Germany, in Paris and in Munich. In 1919 he chose to settle in Switzerland. 

 

Rilke wanted an isolated place where he could fully concentrate on writing. In the autumn of 1920 he came to the Valais and it was love at first sight: he was enchanted by the landscape; the following year he finally found a place tailor-made to his wishes: Muzot near Sierre. The little chateau was the place of his final domain, in the Valais he found inspiration and energy. It was there that he completed the “Duino Elegies”, composed his “Sonnets to Orpheus” and wrote poems in French, including the cycle “Les quatrains valaisans”. 

He was especially fascinated of the area around Raron, discovered already during his first visit to the Valais. When he died of leukaemia in 1926, he was buried, as he wished to be, in the cemetery of the Castle church of Raron. “The Valais is incredibly beautiful, I just need to look out of my window to know how much it holds me, even the fierce and somewhat exhausting heat cannot make me change my mind”, wrote Rilke in 1923.