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”.