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Madeleine Hermitage

The Madeleine Hermitage in Räsch near Düdingen is carved into the cliffs above Lake Schiffenen. It consists of different rooms measuring 120 metre in total.

In 1448 there is a first mention of a hermitage in the hamlet Räsch. From 1609 the hermit is referred to in records. Most of the digging work has however been accomplished by hermit Johann Dupré and his helper Johann Liecht between 1680 and 1708.

Today the hermitage belongs to Düdingen Parish. To avoid its collapse and to preserve it for the public, the parish has conducted extensive renovations in 2005/06.

The hermitage is a site of special geological interest, but it was only lately discovered: The uneven, wave-like floor is a sign of fossil dunes created by a tertiary sea. Following the work from 1680 to 1708 natural erosion brought the initial sand shape to the surface.

As a consequence the visitor moves on dunes that bear evidence of a 20 million year old sea in Fribourg. The site has been declared worthy of conservation on the ground of its geological importance.

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