Barry was one of many avalanche dogs at the hospice of the Great St. Bernhard pass. The pass was one of the first north-south connections. Especially during winter, the monks who took care of the hospice had to save merchants and travellers from ice and snow. Often their own lives were jeopardised. Emerged from one of many stories during this time, Barry the rescue dog, becomes a legend. Old documents from this period, prove that he saved up to 40 lives. Barry is and was the pride in the history of avalanche dogs and his courage and distinctive intuition of risk has certainly remained unforgotten until this day.
The tourism in Grindelwald started very early. In the late 18th century, the first travellers came to admire the imposing and fascinating glacier. An extraordinary story dates back to 1809, when King Friedrich Wilhelm from Prussia came to see the glacier. The emperor of Austria and Russia and king Friedrich Wilhelm just marched into Pairs and the once very powerful Napoleon was banished to the island of Elba. But instead of rushing back to Berlin to take care of government business, the King begun his journey to Switzerland. During their visit to the glacier, the King and his cortege were escorted by two monks from the Great St. Bernard and three of their dogs. Barry was one of these dogs. On the second day, bad weather approached, but the King decided to continue with the inspections. A fateful decision: dense fog obstructed the visibility and the group completely lost orientation. Only thanks to Barry’s subtle flair and his almost supernatural intuition of dangers in snow and ice, the monks and the King were able to find their way back to the village. This is how Barry was called into his first action in Grindelwald. We named our restaurant in memory of Barry as a reminder of his story and as thank you for the many rescues.
Still today, Saint Bernards are bred at the Great St. Bernard and the “Fondation Barry“ are dedicated to ensure the continuity of the Saint Bernards breed according to ethnic and scientific standards. We want to contribute and support this foundation with a sponsorship of “Gipsy”. Gipsy – our sponsored dog – was born on 4th October 2012 and is a longhaired she-dog. On the 15th December 2015 she gave birth to 5 lovely puppies. And if you pass the Great St. Bernard on your next journey, why don’t you pay her a visit!