You can start the virtual stroll at the place of your choice by selecting a key location from the list below.
Balthus Chapel (1)
The Balthus Chapel, built in 1884, is not a place of worship but a small museum that invites the visitor to enter the world and intimacy of the painter. You will see reproductions of photographs, letters and works, as well as documentary films, one of which was made by the famous film-maker Wim Wenders. Admission is free and the chapel is open daily from 10am to 8pm.
Balthus Chapel (2)
The Balthus Chapel, built in 1884, is not a place of worship but a small museum that invites the visitor to enter the world and intimacy of the painter. You will see reproductions of photographs, letters and works, as well as documentary films, one of which was made by the famous film-maker Wim Wenders. Admission is free and the chapel is open daily from 10am to 8pm.
Chemin de la Chapelle (1)
We see the Balthus Chapel on the right-hand side of the path, behind the garden where the painter's tomb is located. To get there, go back a few metres and take the passage around the white house, or go straight on. To get to the Grand Chalet, take the street on the left.
Chemin de la Chapelle (2)
Further on, the path dead-ends at a farm. You can get to the chapel by climbing these few steps or by crossing the garden below.
Devant le village (1)
In front of the white house that we see at the bottom of this street, we turn left and the Grand Chalet is 200m away. (By turning right, we can visit the Balthus Chapel).
Devant le village (2)
In front of the white house that we see at the bottom of this street, we turn left and the Grand Chalet is 200m away. (By turning right, we can visit the Balthus Chapel).
Garden and Balthus grave
The painter Balthus is buried in this garden, in a grave so simple and modest that it seems completely abandoned. In death, Balthus has retained the aura of mystery that he skilfully maintained throughout his life.
La Placette (1)
If you cannot find a parking space on the main road, you can try to find one here. To get to the Balthus Chapel, continue south.
La Placette (2)
If you cannot find a parking space on the main road, you can try to find one here. To get to the Balthus Chapel, continue south.
Le Grand Chalet (1)
Built in four years, from 1752 to 1756, the "Grande Maison" ("Big House") was renamed "Grand Chalet" in 1852, when it was transformed into a hotel where Victor Hugo stayed, among others. It has 113 windows, 436 m2 of floor space and 5 levels, cellars not included. It was bought by Balthus in 1976 and is still inhabited by Setsuko Klossowska de Rola, the painter's widow, and it cannot be visited.
Le Grand Chalet (2)
The dimensions of the Grand Chalet are not the result of the whim of a rich, pretentious bourgeois. Jean David Henchoz, a farmer and local notable, had it built above vast cellars where 600 pieces of cheese could be matured, to be sold to the merchants of Bulle or exported to the markets of Lyon.
Le Grand Chalet (3)
The Grand Chalet is the largest wooden dwelling in Switzerland and perhaps even in Europe. Although it is not possible to visit or even go around it, it is definitely worth a stop in Rossinière to see it and try to imagine the mysteries that lie within.
Le Grand Chalet (4)
Our virtual stroll in Rossinière stops here, at the corner of the Grand Chalet, with a small glimpse of its garden. The rest of the walk will only take place in your imagination and the mysteries of this vast residence will remain intact...
Le Grand Chalet (5)
The door on the west side of the Grand Chalet reads "Fondation Balthus" and our stroll will end there. Further on, a high wall surrounds the grounds, masking the southern façade, which can only be glimpsed.
Place du Village (1)
Our virtual stroll starts here, on Place du Village (Village Square), where you will find some parking spaces. We'll head down to the bottom of the village, to discover two emblematic places.
Place du Village (2)
South of Place du Village, the street splits into two branches. On the right, you go to the Balthus Chapel, which is a kind of minimuseum and not a place of worship. On the left, you go to the Grand Chalet, the painter's last home.
Route du Grand-Chalet (1)
Our view here is oriented towards the village square. The street on our left leads to the Balthus chapel, just a few steps away. On our right, the road leads to the Grand Chalet, 200m away.
Route du Grand-Chalet (2)
Enjoy the walk while looking at the landscape and the chalets around you!
Route du Grand-Chalet (3)
Enjoy the walk while looking at the landscape and the chalets around you!
Route du Grand-Chalet (4)
Enjoy the walk while looking at the landscape and the chalets around you!
Route du Grand-Chalet (5)
Enjoy the walk while looking at the landscape and the chalets around you!
Route du Grand-Chalet (6)
We arrive at the Grand Chalet, the roof of which we can see just to the left of a strange little building with a sort of bell tower on top. The roof you see to the left of the road is the roof of the building where Balthus had his painter's studio.
Route du Grand-Chalet (7)
One might imagine that this small pavilion was the painter's studio, but it's not. Balthus' studio is behind us, in a building that used to be a garage. It remained as it was when the painter died in 2001, but it is not possible to visit it at the moment.
The Grand Chalet Pavilion
At the time of our shooting in May 2021, this small pavilion was abandoned. The interior appeared to be under restoration, but the pandemic had probably put everything on hold and the area around the Grand Chalet was deserted.
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