St. Michael (Wabern)

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The Church of St. Michael, entrance section

The Church of St. Michael is the Roman Catholic parish church of the parish of St. Michael in Wabern near Bern , in the municipality of Köniz . It was built between 1958 and 1959 at Gossetstrasse 8.

History and parish structure

On January 15, 1950, the Catholic Association was founded in Wabern. The faithful went to the church of St. Joseph in Köniz for the service. A year earlier, the first Catholic church service took place in the old secondary school building. Because of the strong influx of Catholics from other cantons and from Italy and Spain, the desire for a local church also grew. Thanks to the testamentary donation of part of the "Wandermatte" on December 29, 1952, by the Wander community of heirs to the entire parish of Bern, the community received a building site for a future church. After intensive collecting and donations, construction began on April 19, 1958 with the laying of the foundation stone. Alois Anselm from Lucerne, who had already built the church and the parish hall of St. Anton in Lucerne in 1954, was engaged as the architect. In the same years the church of St. Antonius in Bümpliz and the Franziskuskirche in Zollikofen were built in the Bernese parish .

In October 1959, the bells were raised and on December 13, 1959, Bishop Franziskus von Streng inaugurated St. Michael's Church. At the same time the new pastor Beat Seckinger was installed and the canonical parish established.

With a resolution of the Grand Council of the Canton of Bern, the Roman Catholic parish of St. Josef Köniz - St. Michael Wabern was created in 1966. On July 1, 1976, St. Michael and St. Josef separated into their own parishes. With a resolution of the Grand Council of June 6, 2012, the geographical boundaries of the parish were redefined. The boundaries of the parish include the parts of the municipality of Köniz in the area of ​​Wabern. In addition, the municipalities of Belp , Gelterfingen , Kaufdorf , Kehrsatz , Kirchenthurnen , Niedermuhlern , Rümligen , Toffen and Wald BE . The adjacent areas are assigned to the neighboring parishes of St. Antonius (Bern-Bümpliz) and Dreifaltigkeit Bern .

Building description

Church with a low bell support

The limited space prompted the architect Alois Anselm to make the best possible use of the church building with a free design that contrasts with the surrounding buildings. The invisible roof area slopes down from the western entrance area to the choir room after a transverse ridge above the hexagonal nave. White colored facades are interrupted by large windows. In a low extension between the free-standing tower and the church, the weekday chapel is added at a slight angle. Your entrance is accessible under the open ground floor of the tower. The rectory, which is also attached to the south, is traditionally built. The parish halls and classrooms are located under the church. A freestanding elevator built in 2008 in a beige-colored concrete cube connects the various levels.

The St. Michael church center with its striking bell tower anticipates the architectural style of the sixties and, along with the Wandermatte school complex, is an identity-giving feature of the quarter.

Interior and artistic equipment

The font stands in a niche between the two entrance gates under the gallery. On a square sandstone block, the water basin is covered with a bronze lid with the inscription "BAPTIZE ALL PEOPLES IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT". The glass windows of the baptistery were created by Paul Stöckli . The weekday chapel with space for 35 visitors is separated from the church by a glass front. The small altar, like the base of the tabernacle, is made of light wood with visible galvanized carpentry. To the left of the altar is a baroque statue of the Madonna of unknown origin. The church patron St. Michael is represented by a concrete glass window by Leo Steck in the south wall. The hexagonal nave, with space for around 250 visitors, is connected to the rectangular altar area, which is illuminated on one side. Both the stepped floor and the altar with the ambo and the base of the tabernacle are made of reddish sandstone. The bronze crucifix has red glass inlays at the site of the wounds on the chest and foot. The sculptor Josef Rickenbacher from Steinen SZ was commissioned to provide the entire liturgical furnishings .

As the most striking work of art, the three large color windows by Emil Reich give the church its special character. Emil Reich, as a resident, active community member, was commissioned in 1977 to redesign the three large clear glass windows. He didn't just want to change the room with light and dark, his work should represent the good news of faith. When designing the design, Emil Reich had to take the existing works by Leo Steck and Paul Stöckli into account and adapt his glass windows to the overall artistic impression. With hand-blown antique glass cut into shapes, in various colors and connected with lead rods, light-flooded pictures were created, the theme of which shows the way to the golden window in the choir room through the woven blue ribbon. According to the artist, it is up to the viewer to discover and interpret for themselves which thoughts are hidden in his work.

Tower and bells

Full bells

The free-standing bell tower is constructed as a three-legged pyramid. Above the open base area, the three concrete pillars are connected with concrete elements up to a height of two thirds. In the open bell cage, three bells are arranged one above the other and each swing in a different direction due to the special suspension. The three bells from the Rüetschi Aarau bell foundry, coordinated with the neighboring Reformed Church , bear the names of the three archangels: Michael with chime es', Gabriel with chime ges' and Raphael with chime as'.



The organ on the gallery was built by Orgelbau Füglister , Grimisuat VS with 2 manuals and pedal . It has 22 registers and a mechanical action. The instrument was inaugurated on February 15, 1970 and revised by Orgelbau Kuhn in 1985 .


The parish of St. Michael Wabern became a media issue in 2012 when parts of the parishioners turned against the incumbent, conservative pastor. The dispute ended with the pastor's departure and renewed close cooperation with the mother parish of St. Josef in Köniz.


  • Judith Ackermann, Andreas Brun et al .: Will Work Life. Parish of St. Joseph 1939–2013 . Parish of the parish of St. Josef, Köniz 2013, ISBN 978-3-03304132-5 .
  • Fabrizio Brentini, Swiss St. Luke Society for Art and Church: Building for the Church. Catholic church building of the 20th century in Switzerland . Lucerne 6: Edition SSL, cop. 1994, Lucerne 1994. Diss. Phil. I Zurich, 1993/94.
  • Gabriela Hanke et al .: Catholic Bern from 1799 to 1999. A stopover . Total Roman Catholic parish of Bern and the surrounding area, Bern 1999.
  • Emil Reich et al .: The Catholic Church of St. Michael in Wabern and the glass windows by Emil Reich . St. Michael parish, Wabern, Wabern 1984.
  • Hermann Plattner : Emil Reich, Memento pour un verrier . Musée du Vitrail, Romont, Romont 1983.

See also

List of Roman Catholic churches in the canton of Bern

Web links

Commons : St. Michael  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Judith Ackermann, Andreas Brun et al .: Will work life. Parish of St. Joseph 1939–2013 . Parish of the parish of St. Josef, Köniz 2013, ISBN 978-3-03304132-5 (division of the parish).
  2. Grand Council resolution on the delimitation of the parishes. In: Website of the Government Council of the Canton of Bern, April 4, 2012 (PDF; 111 kB).
  3. ^ Bells of the Michaelskirche Sound recording and text: Robin Marti, on YouTube , accessed on June 18, 2018.
  4. ^ Report by Stephan Künzi on the quarrels in the Berner Zeitung, dated March 30, 2013, accessed June 11, 2018

Coordinates: 46 ° 55 '48.2 "  N , 7 ° 27' 2"  E ; CH1903:  600 909  /  197662