The development of tourism in the countryside of Central Switzerland


Description

The end of the 18th century saw the emergence of a specific way of relating to nature that has become an integral component of modern life: the use of the countryside for travel and leisure purposes within the context of tourism. The area around Lake Lucerne was a key site of this development from the very beginning. On the one hand, the most popular destinations for the first tourists were – in addition to the Lake Geneva and Bernese Alps regions – Lucerne, Rigi and the Gotthard pass. On the other, early tourist activity led to unparalleled technical development of the countryside in relatively confined areas. The period between 1870 and 1950 saw a succession of pioneering projects which made basic tourist experiences, such as excursions, vistas, panoramas and changes of landscape, available to a mass audience. The development of transport connections was accompanied by the construction of a hotel and leisure industry infrastructure. Since the second half of the 20th century, the focus has shifted from pioneering new concepts to refining and expanding existing infrastructures and experiences. The development of the countryside and nature for tourist purposes is a non-specific cultural practice that has been firmly established in the region for over two hundred years and has a defining influence on its economy and the everyday lives and mentalities of its people.

Image gallery

  • Rigi, 2008: a multiple-unit train against the backdrop of Lake Lucerne and the mountains of Nidwalden. © Christian Perret, Emmetten/Rigi Bahnen, Vitznau
  • Rigi Kulm around 1919: the prototype of a panoramic mountain with hotel and railway infrastructure. © Walter Mittelholzer/Rigi Bahnen, Vitznau
  • Above the Rigi Staffel railway station: locomotive with carriage placed uphill from the engine. © Rigi Bahnen, Vitznau
  • Rigi Kulm around 1875: tourists watching the legendary sunrise and enjoying the view of the alps. © Zentral- und Hochschulbibliothek Luzern, Sondersammlung
  • Alpnachstad on Lake Lucerne – Pilatus, 2011: the steepest rack railway in the world. © Pilatus Bahnen
  • Pilatus, 2008: hiking with a panorama of the mountains. © Vierwaldstättersee Tourismus, Stans
  • The Spies-Sinsgäu cable car, Oberrickenbach (NW), 2011: small cable cars facilitate tourism and alpine farming. © Vierwaldstättersee Tourismus, Stans
  • Panorama as a design concept: the view from the glass-topped carriage of the Zugerberg railway, 2009. © Sylvan Müller, Luzern/Zugerbergbahn AG, Zug
  • The revolving cable car (Rotair) on Titlis mountain, the Stand station, 2008: a moving panorama. © Björn Söderqvist/Flickr
  • The paddle steamer 'Stadt Luzern' (City of Lucerne), which went into operation in 1928, 2011 © Rolf Bühler, Kriens / Schifffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstättersees
  • Station attendant on the landing bridge with a foghorn, around 1920. © Schifffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstättersees
  • Hammetschwand, Bürgenstock, 2011: entrance to the exterior elevated constructed in 1905. © Christian Perret, Emmetten/Vierwaldstättersee Tourismus, Stans
  • Harissenbucht near Stansstad, around 1940: the swimming baths of Hotel Fürigen, which were opened in 1927. © Staatsarchiv Nidwalden, Stans
  • Gerschnialp (Engelberg), around 1930: lower station and cabin of the second oldest cable car in Switzerland. © Tal Museum Engelberg
  • Trübsee – Jochpass, around 1946: seat and closed standing cabin of Switzerland's first chairlift. © Tal Museum Engelberg
  • Rigi, 2008: a multiple-unit train against the backdrop of Lake Lucerne and the mountains of Nidwalden. © Christian Perret, Emmetten/Rigi Bahnen, Vitznau
  • Rigi Kulm around 1919: the prototype of a panoramic mountain with hotel and railway infrastructure. © Walter Mittelholzer/Rigi Bahnen, Vitznau
  • Above the Rigi Staffel railway station: locomotive with carriage placed uphill from the engine. © Rigi Bahnen, Vitznau
  • Rigi Kulm around 1875: tourists watching the legendary sunrise and enjoying the view of the alps. © Zentral- und Hochschulbibliothek Luzern, Sondersammlung
  • Alpnachstad on Lake Lucerne – Pilatus, 2011: the steepest rack railway in the world. © Pilatus Bahnen
  • Pilatus, 2008: hiking with a panorama of the mountains. © Vierwaldstättersee Tourismus, Stans
  • The Spies-Sinsgäu cable car, Oberrickenbach (NW), 2011: small cable cars facilitate tourism and alpine farming. © Vierwaldstättersee Tourismus, Stans
  • Panorama as a design concept: the view from the glass-topped carriage of the Zugerberg railway, 2009. © Sylvan Müller, Luzern/Zugerbergbahn AG, Zug
  • The revolving cable car (Rotair) on Titlis mountain, the Stand station, 2008: a moving panorama. © Björn Söderqvist/Flickr
  • The paddle steamer 'Stadt Luzern' (City of Lucerne), which went into operation in 1928, 2011 © Rolf Bühler, Kriens / Schifffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstättersees
  • Station attendant on the landing bridge with a foghorn, around 1920. © Schifffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstättersees
  • Hammetschwand, Bürgenstock, 2011: entrance to the exterior elevated constructed in 1905. © Christian Perret, Emmetten/Vierwaldstättersee Tourismus, Stans
  • Harissenbucht near Stansstad, around 1940: the swimming baths of Hotel Fürigen, which were opened in 1927. © Staatsarchiv Nidwalden, Stans
  • Gerschnialp (Engelberg), around 1930: lower station and cabin of the second oldest cable car in Switzerland. © Tal Museum Engelberg
  • Trübsee – Jochpass, around 1946: seat and closed standing cabin of Switzerland's first chairlift. © Tal Museum Engelberg

References and documentation

Publications
  • Daniel Anker (Ed.): Titlis. Spielplatz der Schweiz. Zürich, 2001

  • Josef Flüeler-Martinez: Im Land der 100 Bahnen. Buochs, 2010

  • Heinz Horat: Seelust. Badefreuden in Luzern. Baden, 2008

  • Adi Kälin: Rigi. Mehr als ein Berg. Baden, 2012

  • Peter A. Meyer: Der Pilatus zwischen Mystik und Tourismus. Eine Festschrift zum 100jährigen Bestehen der Zahnradbahn Alpnachstad-Pilatus. Ed. Pilatus-Bahn-Gesellschaft. Luzern, 1989

  • Schifffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstättersees (Ed.): 150 Jahre Dampfschifffahrt auf dem Vierwaldstättersee. 1837-1987. Luzern, 1987

  • Schweizerisches Alpines Museum (Ed.): Augenreisen. Das Panorama in der Schweiz. Bern, 2001

  • Daniel Speich: Wissenschaftlicher und touristischer Blick. Zur Geschichte der «Aussicht» im 19. Jahrhundert. In: Traverse. Zeitschrift für Geschichte 3. Zürich, 1999, p. 83-99

Documentation