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”.
Picturesque view of the hotel from the Giessbach Falls.
The historic Grandhotel Giessbach was built in 1873/74 by the French architect Horace Edouard Davinet.
After years of decline, Giessbach closed its doors in 1979. In 1983 Franz Weber rescued the Giessbach domain and reopened the Grandhotel in 1984.
Thanks to the appropriate design and furnishings, the original ambiance in the Grandhotel was brought back.
The Giessbach waterfall gushes down 400 metres over 14 cascades right next to the Grandhotel.
The Giessbach has always been the scene of numerous cultural events, from theater to concerts to dance balls.
The rooms of the Grandhotel Giessbach are partly furnished with original, restored furniture from the turn of the century.
Dining between tradition and cosmopolitanism.
Stunning night view of the Giessbach waterfall and Lake Brienz from the terrace of the Grandhotel Giessbach, Switzerland.
Today, the grand hotel Giessbach is a world-famous jewel on Lake Brienz.
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” (Foundation Giessbach 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, and thereby preserving it for all times, was welcomed with great enthusiasm by 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.