In the 16th century, the architect Ulrich Ruffiner built the St. Romanus fortified church on the rock spur above Raron. Almost 500 years later, the people of Raron opened the cavernous St. Michael rock church. Together with the grave of the poet Rilke, the pair of churches are a magnet for tourists in the community in Valais.
The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke – "Und in den Nächten fällt die schwere Erde aus allen Sternen in die Einsamkeit" ["And in the end Earth itself will fall from among the stars in space"] – liked Raron so much that he was buried on the rock spur above the village next to the fortified church. Today, thousands of Rilke fans make the pilgrimage there every year.
They climb the hill, admire the 16th century church and visit the museum, which is housed in the former rectory. Here it is not just the stories of Raron and Rilke which are told, but also that of Iris von Roten, who made a name for herself around the world as a committed feminist. Finally the visitors also marvel at the St. Michael rock church: this small architectural wonder was built in the rock in 1974 and provides space for 500 people.