What’s the big deal about this lift with a fancy name? Well, the Hammetschwand elevator isn’t your regular lift that runs up and down a building. This one stands on the edge of a mountain 3,700ft above sea level!
Got your attention, didn’t we? So read on!
The Hammetschwand Elevator is the highest exterior elevator in Europe. It is situated on the rocky face of Mt. Bürgenstock in Switzerland. This 500 feet high lift was opened back in 1905 with a speed of 1m/s. The engineering of this 115 year old lift is to be truly lauded considering the time of its conception.
Though initially built by a hotel owner and businessman Franz Josef Bucher, it is now operated by the Schindler Group after it was refurbished by them in 1935. It was the fastest elevator in the world in 1935 when it started operating at a speed of 2.7m/s
So what really attracts people to the Hammetschwand elevator? The view from it of course! It has a breath-taking view of the Alps from the summit, as well as during the journey upward. It overlooks Lake Lucerne and Brünig Pass with Bernese Alps as the backdrop. The path leading up to the elevator, called the Felsenweg path, also offers equally spectacular views of the lake and its surroundings.
The first 14m of the lift is within the pit of the mountain, after which it rises up to the majestic view. The loading takes places within this pit. The lift carries 8 passengers at a time and reaches the summit in a minute. Once you have reached the station at the top, you may exit onto a bridge that leads up to the mountain’s top.
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(Note: The Hammetschwand Elevator and the path leading up to it are functional only in summers.)