The issue

In 1874/75, a grand hotel of incomparable charm was built on an equally incomparable spot at the famous Giessbach Falls above Lake Brienz in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland. It exerted a powerful allure for visitors from far beyond the country’s borders.

By the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Giessbach had become a meeting point for crowned heads of state, their entourages, statesmen, diplomats and celebrated artists, who spent their time recuperating strength, making plans and exchanging gossip.

Two world wars with disastrous consequences for the Swiss hotel industry, as well as a new approach to tourism, faded the glory of the Giessbach. In 1979, after years of decline, the hotel closed its doors. In its place were plans to build a modern concrete building in the style of a “jumbo chalet”.

Our project

Rescue came at the last minute in 1983. The internationally renowned environmental campaigner, animal welfare activist and heritage protector Franz Weber worked a miracle. Thanks to his remarkable fundraising campaign and his founded “Stiftung Giessbach dem Schweizervolk” (Giessbach Foundation for the Swiss People), he acquired the Giessbach domain with its 22-hectare land property and registered it as a protected monument.

His idea to “gift” the Giessbach to the Swiss people, thereby preserving it for all times, met with great enthusiasm among the public. To finance the necessary renovations and operating costs of the hotel, Franz Weber founded a shareholder company, the Parkhotel Giessbach AG.  In May 1984 he re-opened the hotel with a new restaurant, the “Parkrestaurant”, and a small number of unrenovated rooms. Complete renovation of the hotel took place over several stages.

Today, the hotel Giessbach is one of the most beautiful and renowned hotels in the Swiss hospitality industry.

More informations:

Our goals

  • Preserve the Giessbach for all time
  • Care for, maintain and enhance the unique natural area
  • Promote cultural events
  • Return the park to its historical state

Facts and Figures

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FOREST, MEADOW, GARDENS AND UNIQUE LIVING SPACE FOR HUMANS AND ANIMALS BELONG TO THE GIESSBACH
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THE GIESSBACH’S FUNICULAR RAILWAY ‒ THE OLDEST IN EUROPE
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AND SAVED IN 1983: THE GRANDHOTEL GIESSBACH