Located in Switzerland’s Hérémence village, Saint Nicholas Church is one of the finest examples of Swiss Brutalism. The post-war churches were born out of necessity after the devastating effects of World War II. The Vatican II council in the early 1960s decided to revise the traditional approach for the building of churches to make up for the destroyed religious buildings during the war. Switzerland didn’t suffer any major war damage compared to some other countries but it led to this movement of modernisation.
There was an old church where Saint Nicholas stands today but it was destroyed after an earthquake in 1946 and the municipality decided to build a new one.
The architect of the new Saint Nicholas Church was Walter Maria Förderer and he was one of the leading figures of Post-war church architecture in Europe. He built 7 other churches in Switzerland and Germany and his hard-edged concrete blocks and totemic objects are now among the most vanguard churches in Europe.
The 17-meter-high church was inaugurated in 1971 and later it was declared an Object of National Significance.
The new architectural style favored concrete for its resistance and practicality. For that reason, the Saint Nicholas Church has multiple usages like a bar, a shop, post office.