Mar 10

Swiss History: One of Grindelwald’s Oldest Hotels


In the old days, wooden buildings existed under a constant threat of fire, and Swiss chalets were no exception. While modern materials and techniques have essentially rendered fires a thing of the past, there used to be a time when conflagrations posed a constant threat that often decimated villages with a single blow.

The world-famous resort village of Grindelwald suffered such a fate on August 18, 1892. A fire swept through the tiny Swiss village and destroyed an estimated 50 buildings, nearly half the town at that time.

An article published by the New York Times on August 19, 1892 described the scene.

Embers from the burning structures were carried a long distance, and a number of chalets miles away from Grindelwald were set on fire. When the fire broke out, the tourists stopping at the Hotel Baer devoted themselves to saving their luggage and valuables. When their property was secured, they joined the villagers and the guests from the other hotels, and together fought the fire. A bucket line was formed and water was passed along as rapidly as possible, but the flames had gained too much headway to be subdued by this means. The village is a straggling one, and it was due to this fact alone that it was not entirely destroyed.

The above photo shows one of the buildings that survived the fire. Note the metal roof in the upper left hand corner. Metal roofs were a notable advancement in fire prevention and suppression during the 20th century.

Built in 1789, this cozy Swiss chalet represents one of the oldest buildings in central Grindelwald. It’s seen political uprisings, the ravages of fire, two world wars, an era of space exploration, and more. Like a wise old tree that weathers the sands of time, she stands watch as generations come and go.

Today, this Swiss icon provides a home for weary travelers and maintains the charm of days gone by. With a cozy bierstube, sunny decks and unobstructed views of Switzerland’s most distinctive peaks, it’s our preferred resting place when hiking between Interlaken, Wengen, Meiringen and beyond. Don’t be dissuaded by its age, however. While the old house endures, a sophisticated, three star contemporary addition offers discerning travelers every amenity.

Trips that visit this region:
Image: One of the oldest hotels in Grindelwald.
Grindelwald, Switzerland | Ken Fuhrer
You Might Also Like...
At Ryder-Walker, we are all missing the flavors of the Alps. It’s a rare dinner
Ryder-Walker’s Best Guided and Self-Guided Walking Tours Everyone at Ryder-Walker is eagerly awaiting our next
Ryder-Walker’s private guided tours are the ultimate experience in terms of personal customization. Private guided
While the world is slowed to a stop, at Ryder-Walker we have been reminiscing about
Quarantine Routine with Babsi Glanznig The intention of this short sequence is to ground and
Six Yoga Postures for Hikers, Backpacker’s & Stay-at-Homers Easy but very effective yoga asanas (postures)
The Health Benefits of Hiking When you are thinking about how to keep healthy where
Five Reasons to Choose a Guided Group Trek If you aspire to experience an unforgettable
4 reasons singles should book a guided Ryder-Walker trek! For years, Ryder-Walker has attracted couples,
Ryder-Walker’s Tips on Trekking Poles, Boots and Hiking Techniques Do you ever find yourself questioning
The Advantages to Booking Early for Your Ryder-Walker Adventure You might not be thinking about
The Perfect Holiday Gift This holiday season give the gift of a life-changing vacation with

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Isabelle delucys
    February 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm ·

    The first image is amazing.
    I could appreciate a beautiful living room like that, when it's snowing outside.

Travel and the Coronavirus for Ryder-Walker Guests

Ryder-Walker is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and acknowledges that there is growing uncertainty about the safety of traveling right now. Currently, our guided and self-guided treks are on schedule to run. Should travel restrictions be implemented by local or global authorities we will post updates on this link.

For more information please visit the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.