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The Urgestein Foundation

Foundation purpose

The foundation aims to promote young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through non-formal learning opportunities and to promote their development opportunities through voluntary engagement (volunteer work).


The listed building was built in 1910 and completely renovated in 1998. Until then, the old wooden house was known as a civil registry office.

In 2003 René H. Bartl founded the Urgestein Foundation, an institution for children and young people who were excluded from their families, their schools, homes and clinics. Their only alternative was usually entry into a closed institution or prison. Together with his very competent team in the areas of living, school and workshops, they achieved with an average success rate of 85% that the young people did not have to enter closed institutions or prison. For his institution, he selected the property (Dorf 77b) that was ready to be demolished. He independently renovated the house to what it is today and affectionately called it "Bijou-Guggisberg".

In 2013, after 10 years of managing the business and the home, he handed the institution over to Rolf Küng, who continues to run the Guggisberg flat share at other properties to this day. The "Bijou-Guggisberg" was still rented as a group and seminar house by Mr. René H. Bartl and his wife Sylvia until 2019.

In 2020 René H. Bartl decided to retire and found in Oliver Schneitter a suitable successor as the President of the Board of Trustees, who continues to pursue the foundation's purpose of youth work and promotion.


At the farewell event in the Hotel Sternen in Guggisberg, René H. Bartl was called "veteran" due to his age and professional experience - a beautiful name, which is why the foundation is still called that today.

Commercial register entry

Deed of foundation

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