Hotel Belvédère on the Furkapass
Member since 2017
This is an historical building which you cannot enter but can read about its sad story, enjoy its façade that looks like a scene from a Wes Anderson movie and discover its beautiful surroundings on foot.
Hotel Belvédère opened its doors to visitors in 1882. It is on a curve along the famous Swiss mountain pass - the Furkapass in Valais. When it was opened, it was sitting literally next to the Rhône Glacier, offering wonderful icy scenery to its guests. Among its famous guests were Sean Connery and Pope John XXIII. Actually, it is said that Sean Connery insisted that the 'car drive' scene in the 1964 Bond movie Goldfinger (in which Hotel Belvédère is seen twice) be shot on the Furkapass. In time, it became a popular attraction for elite customers. Unfortunately, the 11.000-year-old glacier has melted over the last 100 years. This created hard times for the hotel’s business; it slowly lost its popularity as the icy scenery beneath the hotel was no longer there. Finally, it closed its doors in 2015.
© Nils Lindner
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Select a sunny day to enjoy the fantastic ride to Hotel Belvédère via the Furkapass. The only way to go up there is in a motorised vehicle or by bicycle (if you are a serious cyclist). Park on the side of the road behind the hotel or in the open parking lot, right opposite the hotel. Either way you can enjoy the idyllic views of the valley and the mountains. While there, I strongly advise you to visit the ice grotto of the Rhône Glacier which is full of magical shades of blue. From the parking lot, follow the signs (Eisgrotte), enter the souvenir shop, pay 9.-chf and enjoy the panorama and what is left of the glacier, and the beautiful man-made ice cave. On your way out, stop to have a coffee at the café and enjoy the view of the Hotel Belvédère.
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