About the history
Barry, the national hero
Barry was one of the many avalanche dogs at the hospice of the Great St Bernard Pass. The pass was one of the first north-south connections and so the monks who hosted the hospice were very much called upon, especially in winter, to rescue traders and travellers from dangerous situations and from ice and snow. Often they risked their own lives in the process. Among many other stories, Barry the rescue dog emerged as a legend from this time. Old documents say that he saved up to 40 people. Barry is and was the pride in the history of avalanche dogs and his bravery and keen sense of danger is still remembered by people today.
Why the name “Barrys” for our restaurant?
Tourism in Grindelwald began very early. As early as the end of the 18th century, the first travellers came here to admire the imposing and fascinating glaciers. An extraordinary story dates back to 1809, when King Frederick William of Prussia wanted to visit these glaciers. He and the emperors of Austria and Russia had just made their entry into Paris and the once all-powerful Napoleon had been banished to the island of Elba. But instead of hurriedly returning to Berlin and taking over the affairs of government, the king embarked on a journey to Switzerland.
For his safety, the King and his entourage were accompanied on the glacier visits by two monks from the Great St Bernard with three of their dogs. One of these dogs was Barry. On the second day, bad weather set in, but the King decided to continue his visits anyway. A fateful decision: thick fog suddenly obstructed visibility and so the group lost all orientation. It was only thanks to Barry’s fine intuition and his almost supernatural sense of danger in snow and ice that the monks and the king found their way back to the village.
This is how Barry came to his first assignment in Grindelwald. In memory of Barry and his story and as a thank you for the many rescues in the mountains, we have named our restaurant after him!
Barry, our sponsored dog
Today, St. Bernard dogs are still bred on the St. Bernard and the foundation “Fondation Barry” has set itself the goal of ensuring the continued existence of the St. Bernard breed according to ethical and scientific findings.
We would like to make our contribution and support this foundation with a sponsorship of “Barry” – our sponsored dog. If you are travelling over the Great St. Bernard on one of your next trips, please stop by to see him!