Vent Mountaineers Chapel
Reawakened for art
The stone chapel was originally used to lay out killed mountaineers in dignity. After a long and deep slumber, the mortuary chapel not only got a new name - "Mountaineers' Chapel" - but also a new purpose. Since then, annual theme exhibitions have filled this place with new life.
Place of strength with pointed gable
The chapel towers at the heart of the village on a small, green hill from where you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the mountains and the sky. Benches invite believers, seekers and the curious to enjoy a peaceful moment by absorbing the aura of this highly spiritual house of God. The interior with its creaking larch planks also looks plain and touching, depicting Jesus on the Cross.
Presumably in 1936/1937, the present chapel was built exclusively as a "fire brigade hut". In January 1951, an avalanche destroyed several buildings in Vent, including this small hut. But in the same year the locals of Vent built a new fire station which served as equipment room and "mortuary chapel" for climbers who died in the mountains. As the locals were then laid out in their own homes in Vent, one needed a dignified place of rest for non-local mountaineers who didn't have the skill or luck to come back from their mountain adventuress.
After the construction of a new mortuary at Vent's parish church and a multipurpose building with fire department hall, the old "mortuary chapel" deteriorated rapidly. Until Ötztal Tourismus and the municipality of Sölden renovated and renamed the building in summer 2012. The "Mountaineers Chapel" was officially kissed awake with an atmospheric opening ceremony on occasion of the ARTeVENT festival. Every year theme-related exhibitions take place in this special location, both in the chapel and outdoors around the building. The current program can be found at www.vent.at/artevent.
Visits: daily from 8.00 am to 10.00 pm