Swiss Religious Heritage Day

Swiss Religious Heritage Day 2019

Modern Church Building in Switzerland

Over 1000 churches were built in Switzerland in the second half of the 20th century. This is the topic of the 3rd Swiss Religious Heritage Day on August 30, 2019 in Bern.

There was a huge need for new churches in Switzerland after 1950, as a result of the strong population growth and increasing confessional mixing.The modern church building is characterized by a great variety in terms of interior design, materialization and equipment. A new type of church emerged, the so-called Church Center, which unites rooms not only for worship, but for all areas of church community life under one roof. The buildings are based on a new conception of liturgy and community. These are impressive testimonies of a church on the move.

The 3rd Swiss Religious Heritage Day wants to contribute to a deeper understanding of this fascinating, comparatively little explored period of church building. The speakers discuss the topic from different perspectives.They are experts in the fields of architectural and art history, catholic and reformed theology, historic preservation, technology, campanology and organ building. Today's users of the churches get also a chance to speak.

Many of the modern church buildings have now reached an age where the first major renovations are waiting to be dealt with, and questions of protection are raised.It is to be observed that in connection with the topic of conversions, modern churches are often standing in the focus. In view of these and other problems is it advisable to pay more attention to modern church building, in order to seek a knowledge of its peculiarities and qualities.

On the occasion of the congress, a new database will go online, in which more than 1000 churches, chapels and monasteries are recorded, that were built in Switzerland since 1950. The database offers a variety of query options and it will be an essential tool for the analysis on modern church building in Switzerland.

The congress addresses to people, who are involved in or are interested in modern churches:Parsons, building planners and employees in the parishes, monument conservators, researchers and others. The Swiss Religious Heritage Day pursues the exchange between representatives of the churches, monument preservation, universities and the public.