From highlight to highlight
When it comes to heights, the Swiss are imaginative and are constantly setting new records – here are just a few examples.
The first revolving restaurant.
The world’s first revolving restaurant opened its doors on the Schilthorn in 1968. Of course James Bond, aka George Lazenby, had to have a look for himself. Thanks to the exhilarating cinematic masterpiece “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, the agent 007 was able to rescue the Schilthornbahn from bankruptcy. No other Bond film features this much Switzerland.
The tallest Swiss skyscraper.
The Swiss Tower, the tallest Swiss building, is located some 6,000 km from Switzerland – in Dubai. The tower is 167 meters high, topping the Prime Tower in Zurich, the tallest building in Switzerland, by a good 40 meters. Surrounded by even higher skyscrapers, the Swiss Tower serves less as a vantage point than a workplace as several Swiss companies have set up their offices there.
Highest place of pilgrimage.
It is possible to go heavenwards here on earth with a pilgrimage to the Ziteil pilgrimage church in Salouf in the Canton of Grison: The highest pilgrimage site in Europe is 2,434 meters above sea level. Mary is said to have appeared there twice in the summer of 1580. Shortly after the second appearance a chapel was built on the site that has since been attracting pilgrims from all over the world.
The wind in your hair in central Switzerland.
The Cabrio cable car on Mount Stanserhorn is the first aerial cableway with an open upper deck. The cable railways in central Switzerland have a few more records in store. Did you know that in the Cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden alone there are some 100 cable cars of all sizes?
High tech against the cold.
Chilly accommodations in mountain lodges are a thing of the past. The high-tech mountain lodge called Kristall developed by ETC opened for business on the Monte Rosa massif five years ago. Most of the energy the lodge needs is provided by it’s own solar power facilities. Kristall can accommodate up to 120 Alpinists who can can dream of the next day’s highlights after enjoying a fine meal.
Star architect opens up majestic vistas.
Brick by brick bricklayers and several hundred apprentices put in 65,000 man hours – headed up by star architect Mario Botta. The result is the “Tour de Moron” near Malleray. At just 30 meters in height the tower is quite an eye catcher and offers a magnificent 360-degree panoramic view.
One and a half times around the world
Switzerland is a hiking country. Nowhere else is the world can boast such a closely linked network of trails that is so well served by public transportation. In total there are 60,000 kilometers of trails – back to back they would span the earth one and a half times. 50,000 signposts make sure you find the right route.
Gusty like on the North Cape
The 1,607 meter-high Chasseral is not the highest mountain in Switzerland, but it is the highest peak in the Bernese Jura. There is more to behold than the 114-meter-high radio mast or fields of yellow gentian. The long green ridge offers a unique panoramic view that reaches from the Black Forest and the Vosges to Santis and Mont Blanc. Hikers should be be sure to bring along a hat – wind gusts that rival any on the North Cape are frequent.
A skyride to soccer training.
Switzerland is getting ready for soccer at the World Cup in Brazil. And the Vispertal in the Valais is where some of the best talents are being forged. This is where the FC Gspon team plays at more than 2,000 meters above sea level. To get to Europe’s highest soccer field the players have to jump into a mountain cable car. It is not surprising that every season dozens of balls disappear irretrievably over the cliffs.
The largest glacier in the Alps
The Great Aletsch Glacier is a frozen river that moves roughly 180 meters per year through the rocky landscape. With a length of 22.75 kilometers and an area of 81.7 square kilometers it is in terms of area the largest glacier in the Alps. This attracts visitors from all over the world. In just a short walk from the Jungfraujoch and the Riederalp one can admire the ice stream in all its beauty.
The (once) fastest elevator in Europe.
The Hammetschwand lift has been in operation on the northern side of Bürgenstock, the legendary luxury resort for tourists, for over a hundred years. For a long time it was Europe’s fastest elevator and fascinated nostalgic people and engineers alike. In less than one minute it catapults astonished visitors 150 meters. On the terrace visitors can enjoy coffee and Nussgipfel pastries while taking in the finest mountain scenery in central Switzerland.
Explore four springs in five days.
Switzerland is the water tower of Europe. And you can experience it on foot on a circular hike. The four-spring trail leads to the origins of the Rhine, Reuss, Ticino and Rhone rivers in the Gotthard region. The trail can be hiked in individual daily stages or in a five-day hike with overnight accommodations.
You won’t find more whiskey anywhere else.
The Hotel Waldhaus am See is situated in an idyllic setting between mountains and lakes in St. Moritz. Its trump card is a record-holding variety: In the Devil’s Place, the hotel’s own bar, you can enjoy a whopping 2,500 different whiskeys. With this selection, the world’s largest, the Waldhaus am See has already secured a spot several times in the Guinness Book of Records. The heart of many a whiskey lover is sure to beat faster.
The new publication “The 100 finest views” from UBS and Switzerland Tourism will take you up to some unique viewpoints. You’ll also find six vouchers for fascinating excursions inside. The brochures are available free of charge at your UBS branch.
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