The doer between innovation and tradition

Ulrich Veith

Uli Veith beim Empfang der Gäste im Hotel Chasa Chalavaina
Doing everything the way you've always done it is not Uli Veith's thing. The South Tyrolean has been managing director of the UNESCO Kloster St. Johann Foundation in Müstair for eight years and is not afraid of any challenge. Most recently, he took over the management of a traditional hotel and created his own monastery cheese.
Uli Veith unterwegs vom Kloster ins Hotel Chalavaina

Living history

The UNESCO monastery of St. Johann in Müstair is around 1200 years old. For about 50 years, a foundation has been taking care of its preservation, the integrated museum with store, and research within the venerable walls. At the same time, Uli emphasizes how important it is to him and the foundation board to act with foresight and not to stand still - always preserving the historical heritage, of course. Thus, neither denomination nor origin play a role, what is important is passion - and Uli exudes this with every sentence. The fact that a South Tyrolean serves as managing director has therefore long been accepted and the former financial economist is well integrated: he understands Romansh effortlessly and is committed to the sustainable development of Val Müstairs outside the monastery.

Uli Veith vor dem Hotel Chalavaina

Mysterious convent

The current eight nuns in the St. Johann convent live their lives independently of the foundation. As a visitor, you hardly ever get to see them - but in summer you can listen to their prayers and chants every day as they drift from the cloister into the church. Even for Uli, this is always a magical moment that allows him to calm down and recharge his batteries. And in other ways, too, he is impressed by the sisters' industrious and modest way of life: the rules of St. Benedict, quasi 1,000-year-old principles of leadership, are more relevant today than ever for the likeable family man.

Kirche Kloster St. Johann in Müstair

He who rests, rusts

This saying applies not only to us humans, but also to tourism in the valley. At least that's what Uli told himself when it became clear that a traditional business in the immediate vicinity of the monastery was to be closed for lack of a successor. However, this fate of many Swiss family hotels was not to befall the Hotel Chalavaina, which was first mentioned in 1254 as a hostel. After a careful renovation, it now shines in new splendor since spring 2022. The guests are delighted with the attractive offer - and the creator and innovator Uli Veith is, quite incidentally it seems, also the hotel director.

Uli Veith beim Kontrollgang im Hotelzimmer

It's allowed to stink a little 

In his spare time, Uli lubricates and cares for his monastery cheese - another project he started a few years ago. The historic cellar, which was specially built for this purpose, offers perfect conditions for storing the precious loaves. The cheese is not made on site, however, but in the local cheese dairy, the Chascharia, which uses only milk from the monastery's farm for the monastery cheese. To ensure that the quality is right, Uli takes meticulous care of his cheeses. This pays off, because sales are right, as he modestly admits.

Uli Veith wiegt den Klosterkäse
Nach dem Schmieren lagert der Käse in den Klostermauern

No boredom please

If there's one thing Uli doesn't like, it's boredom. That's why he already has the next project in his quiver: the establishment of a scientific competence center for research into historical crafts such as masonry, paneling, plastering. And when the work is done? Then you are sure to find the active sportsman on foot or even better on skis on a mountain peak in the border triangle. Because here, in his home country, is where Uli still prefers to be, even if he occasionally gets the wanderlust and goes on a city trip.

Uli Veith beim Begutachten von Fresken
Nach dem Aufstieg einer Bergtour wird Uli Veith mit einem schönen Panorama belohnt