Andrist Legend

Several legends tell about the region around the Andrist mountains. Some of them are printed in booklets about regional legends, written in German or Swiss German. I'll translate them for you, but this will take a while to complete. - Thank you for returning to this page to share the fun of these legends.

How the Andrist mountains got their names

A Frutigland legend tells this story (Frutigland is the Swiss district of the two Andrist mountains):

On the so-called 'Bear Path', the path going from the granaries at Tschingel to Gornern passing under the cliffs, half-way along one finds a big rock into which is engraved: "Peter Zahler 1676". This name was added over the earlier initals, "H. A.", for Hans Andrist. Although "H. A." is now covered by the newer text, it remains a memorial to the fight between Hans, the alpine herdsman nicknamed "Wild Andrist" (unlike his less adventurous brother who was called "Tame Andrist") and a huge, attacking bear. Some descendants of this brave herdsman and his brother still live in Reudlen, near Reichenbach, and their names live on in the names of the two Andrist mountains.

Andrist and the bear stood upright face to face in that unequal fight. The herdsman felt his strengh dwindle, but he couldn't escape the bear's deadly embrace. Therefore he chose the last expedient: he pushed the beast towards the abyss and both fall from the cliff! Due to the heaviness and the clumsiness of the bear, it hit the ground first and died. But in doing so, the bear softened the herdsman's fall, and so he lived to tell the tale.

Fritz Andrist, the last Andrist descendant of this family was living in Reudlen, he is of Aeschi bei Spiez citizenship.

Source: M. Trechsel, Schweiz. Alpenpost, Kientalpoststrasse. Translated from German to English by Willi Andrist and Dick Miller

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