Helvetia Nostra and the FFW, like their renowned founder Franz Weber, are passionate about the preservation of historic Swiss sites and monuments. Through political processes, discussions with authorities and legal proceedings, Helvetia Nostra fights to protect the historic heritage of Switzerland.
This is how Helvetia Nostra has successfully led different campaigns to protect the Château de l’Aile, in Vevey, so that it remains a public property. In the same way, it used legal processes to avoid the demolition of the Hôtel Schweizerhof in Interlaken in the canton of Bern. Unfortunately, the Federal Court did not support Helvetia Nostra's position in this case. In Les Avents (canton of Vaud), Helvetia Nostra's actions to protect the Hôtel de Sonloup enabled the adoption of a conversion and extension project which is both reasonable and respectful of the building's architecture.
The "Giessbach dem Schweizervolk" (Giessbach for the Swiss People) foundation was created in 1983 by environmental activist Franz Weber and his association Helvetia Nostra in order to protect the Grandhotel Giessbach, situated above Lake Brienz, from demolition. Thanks to an unparalleled fundraising campaign as well as support from the community of Brienz and the canton of Bern, the foundation was able to take over the Hotel Giessbach. The estate is still owned by the foundation today. Parkhotel Giessbach AG was subsequently founded in order to manage the hotel, which it has done with resounding success for over 30 years.
Further information on the foundation "Giessbach dem Schweizervolk“: http://www.stiftung-giessbach.ch/giessbach-for-the-swiss-people-foundation.html