The history of our house
It was Theodor Welschen who had the idea to build a house on the "Heji". This decision was made on the spot! In a letter he later wrote:
During the winter of 1931-32, he started the planning. In the upper floors, flats were planned, while a tearoom was supposed to be built in the ground floor. The reason for this was an access road directly next to the house, planned by the local authorities.
In the summer of 1932, Theodor started the project together with his brother Basil. They wanted to do as much on their own as possible. At the beginning of October the pit, at that time this was done by manual labour, was finished. For the concrete work of the ground floor, they built a little hauling track. It led directly to the streambed of the river to obtain sand for the concrete. On December 8, the ground floor was found.
In the following March in 1933, Theodor began to cut the wood for the upper floors from his own forest stand. Then the brothers Welschen started to split the stone plates for the roof from domestic rock. Craftsmen from the village then processed the prepared construction material in a professional way. The interior fittings, the flooring and the panelling of the walls and ceilings with wood on the other hand was again done by the brother Welschen.
In 1934 it was done! Theodor and Basil were able to move into their new home.
This house was one of the first residential buildings in the area. It was so far away from the other buildings that some locals said: "You're crazy to build it that far away from the village!"
Zermatt expanded - today the "Welschen" is located directly in the village!
After the building was finished it turned out that the planned street would only go above the "Welschen", so the idea for the tearoom was dismissed. One apartment was now occupied by Basil Welschen and his family. The other apartments were rented. For a short period, the house Welschen even became a children's home. Theodor had taken over the Walliserhof in 1938 with his wife Clärli and was living there.
Since the summer tourism slowly found its way to Zermatt, Theodor Welschen had the idea to turn the house on the "Heji" into an accommodation. The floors were expanded with an annexe and altered. Thus in the year 1956, the "Pension Welschen" was opened and led by Basil Welschen and his wife Julia. Since there were only a few possibilities for catering in the mountains, the guests were offered full board. Whoever did not want to come back to the village for lunch was provided a packed lunch.
In 1975 Basil and Julia built a small house above the pension and from then on spent their well-deserved retirement in the "House Julia". The pension was taken over by their daughter Ruth.
In 1986 the pension was passed on to the son Christian. Together with his wife Marlène, the house was completely restored. In 1990, they built another annexe. From now on, the rooms were offered with breakfast, and the pension became the "Hotel Welschen".
Through regular renovation work, we adapted to the contemporary standard over the past decades. But it was our utmost concern to keep the typical character of the Walliser house and we hope that you, our guests, feel comfortable in our house!
Family Christian and Marlène Welschen, with Sammy and Cyril, and the Welschen-Team