New Life for an old Cheese Factory

Sennerei Hospiz

The lettering “Alp-Dorf Sennerei” is still very legible on the wall of a rather inconspicuous building in Tenna, Switzerland. Prominently, it sits on the edge of the fraction Mitte, opposite the late-Gothic church, which gets all the attention. For many years, no more cheese has been produced here.

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The passing of time is showing. The gaps in the tile roof become bigger and more numerous with every storm. The window shutters have not been moved for 15 years. The door of the latrine bangs occasionally when someone has not carefully secured it after use.

Sometimes a light appears from the upper window; and you can see the moving silhouette of an busy weaver, accompanied by the rhythmic sounds of the shuttle on the loom.

The building hides no treasures. There are big holes in the ground: one from the wood firing for the long-disposed cheese kettle; the other of the counterweight, which tightened the ropes of the cable car for fifty years. It carried the milk, the personnel, and the goods for the alpine dairy production during the summer months.

In the attic, the banner of the singers’ association from 1889 is still neatly stored. This luxurious piece of cloth is a reminder of the days when there were several active choirs devoted to the singing tradition in Tenna. Until fairly recently, there was a precarious road connection to the outside world, no radio, no TV, no Internet.

There is evidence that the almost abandoned building will be revived. The municipality of Safiental, as the current owner of the property, is ready to sell it to the Tenna Hospice Association. Thus the association can realize a dedicated space for palliative care and for other situations where it is no longer possible to care for the loved ones with increasing care needs in their own home.


Tired bodies, minds, and spirits may in the near future find a warm welcome in the hospice like travellers on a rocky road – so they may live in dignity and die in peace.

Your support is very welcome. The Tenna Hospice Association is pleased about donations, loans, and contributions. Please follow this link to become a supporter of the Tenna Hospice Association.

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