The Gütsch is a hill in the west of the city of Lucerne. A long time ago guard fires burned here to warn the city in times of war or other dangers. The Gütsch Tower was built in 1590 as the end point of the city fortifications and remained in existence until a fire in 1888. In 1859 Burkhard Pfyffer bought the land from the town and was granted the right to run an inn on the Gütsch. The inn was bought by Ignaz Businger in 1879 and expanded into a hotel. With the construction of the Gütschbahn in 1884, it became easier for guests to reach the hotel.
A large part of the hotel was completely destroyed in the great fire of 1888. In 1901 the hotel received its present fairytale castle appearance with towers and oriels. During the First World War and until 1921 the Hotel Gütsch remained closed. During the Second World War it had to perform military service and accommodated in turn refugees, returning emigrants, and prisoners of war.
In 2010 the city of Lucerne granted the new owner Alexander Lebedev permission to extend and renovate the hotel and in 2014 the hotel reopened its doors after a thorough renovation. The last renovations in 2014 focused particularly on the preservation of historical details such as ceiling stucco, wood carvings, parquet floors, and hand-painted wood panelling. English interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard has been successful in Château Gütsch back its historic charm while enriching it with all the modern amenities that discerning hotel guests expect.
Over the last 130 years, our Château Gütsch has experienced an exciting history, accommodating famous guests including kings and queens, diplomats, world stars and, of course, the citizens of the city of Lucerne.
It was purchased by Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev in 2012, who turned it into a luxury hotel-restaurant.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.