Most stories are based on real people, places and things– to a certain extent. So was Pocahontas a native Indian from Virginia who was one of the first native women to marry a white man. Her heroic persona has been romanticized for many years to come, especially by Disney. The Castle of the Magic Kingdom of Disney World in Florida is based on the Architecture of the Castle Neuschwanstein near Fussen in Bavaria. And Cinderella, the dream of a common employee in the medieval times to escape the fate of household maid – was first written down by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697 and not much more.
Heidi is different. Even though the figure of the little Swiss orphan from the village of Maienfeld is an invention, the village, the location of her house and the mountain paths that she walked on, are all real. Johanna Spyri, who wrote this children’s series in 1880 in only four weeks, had a certain village in mind when she wrote this two part story which became one of the best selling books ever and which was translated into many languages.
In the book, the landscape, the village and the house where Heidi lived where not only vividly described, but can be visited as a tourist destination today – or just for an easy hike if you happen to be staying in the area.
By visiting the village of Maienfeld, you can learn about Swiss architectural patrimony.
About 20 walking minutes above this picturesque mini city begins the path toward Heidi village, a newly created resort with a Museum located in midst of 19th century Alpine Architecture and within walking distance from the original Heidi house, which can be viewed individually as part of a tour. A family of goats and free walking chickens will await your friendly attention.
This is a great place to go if you feel the need to breathe some fresh clean Alpine air or as a family visit with children. If you are visiting with young kids, enjoy the moment of peace where you can let them run around worry free in this safe Alpine environment, or spoil them at “Peter’s Spielhütte” a playground which is located on a mountain hill next to the Heidihof where you can enjoy a tranquil refreshment alone or with your family.