Thursday, September 24, 2009

Triesenberg, Liechtenstein. St. Joseph's Church.

Municipality, commune, district, we see many names for the divisions of Liechtenstein. Triesen, and here, Triesenberg, is the highest municipality in the country.  Preserve, preserve.

The town dates from the 13th Century. The Rhine Valley is a fairytale below.Here is St. Joseph's Church on the high slope of Triesenberg.

See also Portal to Liechtenstein at :// is too late for Triesenberg, see it fast at :// there must be a governing body somewhere that cares about perspective, vistas, preserving the past even if an office building has to go elsewhere.

The coat of arms is shown at :// Note that there are flags, and "banners of arms."  The scheme is an azure field and a golden bell, and golden forms representing three mountains.  The colors represent the Valaisian "Walser" who settled there from a place called Davos, a Canton (there is another name for a local division) in Switzerland.  Is "Walser" the root of the current term, Balzers, for another of Liechtenstein's divisions?

The onion dome of St. Joseph's Church dominates the town, but that will be short-lived.  Despite its beautiful setting and view over the mountains from such a height, construction is booming right in front of it, and will hedge it into oblivion by the time you get there.

Zoning boards, wake up.  No tourist will bother going up to look in front of great front doors somewhere, neck back at right angles to see the steeple, and the only view being the blocky office building in front.

Even the attraction of the lovely old cemetery, just think of all the folks who hoped they would be on a lovely hillside looking over (in their post mortem way) their beloved mountain and valley, will be lost in the shadow and the dead silence of all those computers in offices.

See the fine cemetery - a life, a community. Few two alike. What is the name of that old poem about the people in the graveyard (was it New England?) talking to each other, remembering, scoffing some, loving some, a living community of the dead as long as they were remembered. 
Keep the views.  Is there any comparison?

The Rhine Valley is flat, broad, populated; and from it rise endless slopes of green mountains.  It is hard to specify which view gibes with which district from the heights. Try it yourself.  Drive up to the highest communes-districts, like Triesenberg, Planken, Balzers.  The views down to the alpine (not really chalet) homes and flat valley so far down, with the river, are indeed similar because it is one series of mountainsides, and one valley - the long Rhine.

So we may have mixed one picture of the valley here, with view of the same valley from another drive up and up and up, switchback after switchback.  No matter.  No time for notes because somebody may be around that bend.  But all the views represent the same heritage. If Triesenberg's travesty is happening elsewhere, and why should it not when money governs our spirits, please stop it. For yourselves.

The bells. There they go. Wonderful. But imagine them hemmed in by glass and concrete. And the false echo that will produce. No, don't.

Cemetery:  Individualized, colorful, kinds of stone, wood carving, portraits, a community in itself.

Go to our sterile cemeteries. Why bother? What is there to see when you wander. Where else but in communities like this, with different, individualized traditions, could you find real people, carvings of their most treasured settings, human beings still, in a different being as you go by, but there.

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